First toll-free helpline for disabled launched

Kolkata, Dec 3 : Now help is only a phone call away for people with speech and hearing disabilities in the eastern part of the country with the launch of a toll-free helpline Tuesday, the first in this region.

Ushering the International Day of People with Disability, Bengal Speech and Hearing Aid Pvt. Ltd. (BSHPL), the largest chain of clinics for hearing and speech disability patients in this part of the country, kicked-off the venture here.

"Previously the disabled were not able to access information due to lack of such measures. But now with the helpline, they can get any information they want," said audiologist and speech language pathologist Somenath Mukherjee, managing director, BSHPL.

The Persons With Disability Act (PWD), 1995 extends equal status and opportunities for participation of people with different abilities.

However, due to a dearth of information, the speech and hearing-disabled people have not been able to exercise their rights.

"For anyone seeking any kind of help in the form of information on treatment, clinics and even information regarding the rights provided by the PWD Act of 1995, this toll-free number would come as a form of genuine assistance," said Mukherjee.

The helpline number is 180030001620.

The relatives and friends of people with speech and hearing disability can call and enquire on their behalf.

--IANS (Posted on 03-12-2013)

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