NISH to conduct Online Interactive Parental Awareness Seminar on“Management of Children with Low Vision”

National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH), in collaboration with the Directorate of Social Justice, is conducting their 27thonline Interactive Disability Awareness Seminar (NIDAS) on January 20th here

.The seminar, the first of its kind focusing on “Management of Children with Low Vision”,  will be handled by Ms. Brahada Shankar, Consultant, Deaf blindness and Low vision, who has a diploma in Deaf blindness, London University.

The online live seminar to be hosted at NISH will commence at its campus at 10.30 am. The proceedings of the event will be simultaneously presented at all the District Child Protection Units (DCPU) offices for audiences present there via the internet.

The two- and- a -half -hour programme in Malayalam aims at reaching out across the state to a larger number of parents and caregivers, who are not aware of the implications of disability.

Interested people who wish to participate from DCPU offices in each district may contact the Child Protection Units Officer nearest to them and avail the telephonic registration process.

Participants from each district can contact the District Child Protection officers in the following numbers: Thiruvananthapuram (0471-2345121), Kollam (0474-2791597) Pathanamthitta (0468-2319998), Alappuzha (0477-2241644), Kottayam (0481-2580548), Idukki (0486-2200108), Ernakulam (0484-2609177),Thrissur (0487-2364445), Palakkad(0491-2531098), Malappuram (0483-2978888), Kozhikode (0495-2378920), Wayanad (04936-246098), Kannur (0490-2326199)and Kasargod (04994-256990).

Participants from Trivandrum district can also attend from NISH after telephonic registration by contacting NISH in 0471- 3066675.

Interested people can register on the website Interested people can register on the website

Participants should either have a personal computer, laptop or tablet along with reliable high-speed internet connectivity, webcam, and microphone.

Centre’s action to check erosion of traditional knowledge of tribal people in the offing: MP

A study report by the city-based Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K) about the erosion of traditional knowledge among tribals has grabbed the attention of the Central Government and a follow-up action is expected on that, according to  Rajya Sabha MP Shri.  K. Somaprasad.

Close on the heels of the publication of the study by IIITM-K, the MP had raised the issue in the  Rajya Sabha as a special mention on December 28, 2017.

The IIITM-K study had quantified the erosion of traditional knowledge passed down across generations of the tribals  in Kerala by their ancestors has suffered a massive erosion and is gradually disappearing .

During a recent visit to the IIITM-K,  Hon. MP Shri K. Somaprasad lauded its efforts  and said that the Centre should give financial assistance to the institution to conduct such kind of studies.

Dr. Saji Gopinath, Director, IIITM-K, Dr. Jaishankar R. Nair, Head of C.V. Raman Laboratory of Ecological Informatics; and other faculty, staff and researchers of IIITM-K officials were present on the occasion.

“After my special mention in the Rajya Sabha about the report, MPs from Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states expressed their interest in associating with this issue”. It is a good sign, Shri K. Somaprasad  noted.

A first-of-its-kind study in India, it provides a quantitative estimate of traditional knowledge that is disappearing at an alarming pace.

“The degradation of conventional knowledge is alarming,” revealed the study, conducted by C.V. Raman Laboratory of Ecological Informatics at the IIITM-K among eight tribal races in the Western Ghats.

The study was conducted among the Kurichyar, Kattunaikkar (Wayanad); Cholanaikkar, Paniyar (Nilambur); Irular, Kurumbar (Palakkad); and Kaanikkar, Malapandaram (Kollam) tribal groups.

Statistical analysis of the compiled data has thrown unprecedented result in the form of estimates for erosion or retention of traditional knowledge within the communities.

The Kurichya and Kurumba tribals have lost more than half of their traditional knowledge, Cholanaikar and Malapandaram tribals have lost 33 per cent while Kaani and Kattunaikkar have lost 40 to 45 per cent. Malapandaram tribals have ‘very least traditionally-acquired knowledge before and now’.

It is a rare instance and distinct honor for IIITM-K when an academic study conducted by it was cited in the floor of the Indian Parliament Dr. Jaishankar. R. Nair led the study team, which comprised Dr. Saroj Kumar, V Mr. Sooraj. N.P, Shri. M. Somasekharan Pillai and Dr. Ram Boojh.

Tobacco Free Kerala welcomes SC ruling

Tobacco Free Kerala – a coalition of like-minded organisations for tobacco control – lauds the public-health friendly stance taken by the apex court while upholding the rule mandating 85 per cent pictorial warnings on all tobacco products.

Pronouncing its judgement, the Division Bench of the Supreme Court led by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India noted in its 13-page-order that “health of a citizen has primacy” and that citizens are entitled to know about things that cause “destruction of health”, implying tobacco in this instance.

Attorney General Mr. K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Union of India, said that “life sans health is not worth living and the chewing of tobacco or smoking of cigarettes or bidis, etc. causes irretrievable hazard to health and it is the obligation of the State to make the people aware as regards the injurious nature of these indulgences.”

Addiction to tobacco “becomes the killing factor or causation of pain, suffering, agony, anguish and ultimately death”, he had submitted.

The stay comes on the order of the Karnataka High Court that struck down the 85 per cent pictorial warnings rule on 15 December 2017.

It was on October 15, 2014, that the Union Health Ministry brought out a notification requiring tobacco companies to devote 85 per cent of all tobacco product packs including bidis, cigarettes, and smokeless items to pictorial warnings. After some delay, it took effect from 1 April 2016.

With this judgement, India has also maintained its global image by retaining the third position on pack warnings in its ranking of 205 countries as per the “Cigarette Package Health Warning International Status Report” put out by the Canadian Cancer Society in October 2016.