Annually, around 15000 new cases are recorded for throat cancer in India! It is surely an alarming figure, as it is almost 50% of oral cancer patients. A recent study showed that the number of cases in the age group of 50 to 70 years is really high and there are a considerable number of recorded cases in the 40 years age bracket as well.
Organisations like Innaumation, along with speech therapists are continuously working towards spreading awareness and trying to infuse life in patients, who have survived the trauma of losing the voice box or larynx. In this scenario, recognition by the government of a country definitely goes a long way in restoring the lost confidence of the patients.
Recently, speech therapy or laryngectomy got recognised under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. It might be the first step but it is a big leap in the life of such patients. It has given them a reason to laugh, dream and hope for a good life. An acceptance by the society brings in a pleasant boost in their confidence.
As Mr. V. S. Basavaraju, State Disabilities Commissioner, Karnataka, puts it, “Awareness is important, so that more and more people can be benefited and it improves their economic status too.”
The Government of Karnataka has already taken its first steps in recognizing the laryngectomy patients under the Disabilities Act 2016 and is providing them with assistance for improving their standard of living. Patients staying in the rural areas can apply for pension/MNREGA scheme by producing requisite documents to the respective Panchayat Development Office, about which they are guided by their treating speech therapists.
Innaumation is working side by side with the Government of India and offers help in filling up the form and applying for the handicap certificate to the patients who come to them for voice prosthetics. This certificate is a huge support for the patients who are from below poverty line(BPL) background. With above 75% of disability are eligible for a pension every month, they can apply for financial support for starting their business, can get housing benefits, they involuntarily get registered under the MNREGA scheme for job assistance, get rebate in income tax, a reservation in the government jobs, fund for on-farm utilities for those who own a piece of land, and unemployment allowance to educated disabled persons. Of many things, patients with the BPL card are eligible to get AUM Voice Prosthesis completely free of charge under Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
Life might not be that simple and easy for them, but an act of kindness and acceptance makes a difference in what would have been a voiceless scream!
Let’s join hands, together we can spread a word and bring happiness in their life.