The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, at a function in the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapathi Bhawan, New Delhi on 14 November, 2010 conferred National Award to Ferrando Speech and Hearing Centre in Ri-Bhoi District, Meghalaya, a Catholic Institution, run by the Misssionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), for its outstanding services rendered in the field of welfare of children.
Director of the Centre, Sr. Merly Tom expressed her joy at receiving the award and exclaimed, “I feel extremely happy at this recognition given to the institution, which I believe, is a true appreciation to the children who belong to the centre. This honour inspires me to understand the nobility of the work and fills me with enthusiasm to work all the more harder in the chosen area of my work. ”
Ferrando Speech and Hearing Centre is one among the five Institutions selected for the National Awards for Child Welfare this year to receive the award from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt. of India.
Ferrando Speech and Hearing Centre established in 1996 reaches out to hearing impaired children from all over India, especially from the North East Region. The present batch of children comes from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland. There are also a few children from Kolkata and Bihar.
The Centre gives special care for the prevention and reduction of the effects of preventable hearing impairment in young children through early identification, intervention and pre-school education.
Besides catering to the children, it also works towards the empowerment of the families of hearing impaired children to face the challenges in bringing up their hearing impaired children. Some of the works undertaken by the institution are Early Intervention, Education, Rehabilitation, Vocational Training and manpower development for the Hearing Impaired, Vision unit (refraction and distribution of corrective glasses), Orthotic, Prosthetic and Physio-therapy unit.
The Centre has a history of reaching out to thousands of children. Presently the Centre has a Special school for the deaf that accommodates 140 students in classes KG – XII. It has integrated 45 Hearing Impaired students into the mainstream schools and 14 in the Inclusive Education and vocational training cum production unit that helps the rehabilitation of the Hearing Impaired and orthopedically handicapped persons.
Shiji James, Shillong