There are approximately 1, 25,284 persons out of the total 19, 88,636 population in Nagaland, who have Hearing Impairment (HI) as per the National Programme for Prevention & Control of Deafness (NPPCD). This was presented by the Deaf Biblical Ministry Dimapur at an awareness cum sensitisation workshop on rehabilitation of persons with disabilities organised by Prodigals’ Home on Friday at Town Hall, Dimapur.
Hearing impairment as curse
Drawing attention on the society’s approach towards such disability, the Ministry said till the 1980s hearing impaired people were called ‘mad or crazy’ and were the object of ridicule and even considered a curse. ‘Families hid them from the society and it took many years for Naga society to accept the deaf people as contributing members of the society,’ conveyed the ministry.
With the change of mindset between the years 2010-2016, there has been immense development. Persons with HI after their education have become independent and are involved in different professions. A good number of them are working in government offices. Some are self employed while few of them are involved in teaching and others actively involved in sports.
Kesonyu Yhome, Deputy Commissioner, Dimapur, who graced the event as the chief guest, introduced the PwDs as the chief guests of the day taking into account their remarkable journey. Addressing the various organisation representatives, Yhome remarked that over the years a bureaucratic approach had been adopted to address the issue. He, however, also said we cannot afford to continue with that approach and there needs to be a paradigm shift in our approach.