This week, SocialStory spoke to a group of engineering students from IIIT Bhubaneswar, who are helping COVID-19 patients and frontline workers with their bubble helmet ventilator — Swasner.
Meanwhile, online classes have become part of the ‘new normal,’ but not so much for the Deaf student community, who are still struggling to obtain proper education amidst the lockdown.
Here are the top social stories of this week:
The global Deaf community, comprising of three main groups — Hard of Hearing (HoH), Deaf, and Deaf-blind — celebrates the last week of September as Deaf Awareness Week. This year, the Deaf community is facing more hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the online education space.
Thousands of deaf students are unable to access online media and educational content due to a lack of either sign language interpreters, or a weak internet connection that disrupts the flow of interpretation.
“There are limitations to the online platform, and the amount of stress and anxiety caused due to communication barriers at home for deaf children is worrisome. While teachers are doing their best, I urge parents to learn sign language as it can be very isolating when no one understands you,” Dr. Sharanjeet Kaur, Chairperson, Haryana Welfare Society for Persons with Speech and Hearing Impairment (HWSPSHI), tells SocialStory.
According to official data, Make in India ventilators increased in number in August — six months into the pandemic — accounting for 96 percent of the 60,000 ventilators procured. However, the ventilator shortage remains in India.
To address this shortage, a group of engineering students from IIIT Bhubaneswar devised a bubble helmet ventilator called ‘Swasner’ for patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
Swasner claims to be a state-of-the-art modified hyperbaric chamber that can help patients with respiratory ailments to breathe better than a CPAP/BiPAP face mask.
Not long ago, Laungi Bhuiyan single-handedly completed digging a three-kilometre long canal in the quaint village of Kothilawa located at Lahthua, Gaya.
The Bihar resident spent 30 long years to carve the pathway to channel rainwater to the agricultural fields of the area. Recognising his hard work, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra gifted him a tractor.
Since her childhood, 17-year-old Khushi Chindaliya has been passionate about nature. Owing to her interest in conserving the environment, the Surat resident was recently appointed the Regional Ambassador for India by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Tunza Eco-Generation.
The teenager found the inspiration to preserve nature and its resources after witnessing her hometown turn into a concrete jungle.
Amidst the lockdown, Khushi spent her time understanding the causes and repercussions of environmental degradation. Due to the restrictions and the problems of the pandemic, she is now working on an online programme.
When Mumbai-based Hinduja Foundation’s major educational programme — ‘Road to School’ — came to a halt due to the pandemic, many children in rural areas experienced a significant loss in learning.
To cope with this, the foundation launched the ‘iCare: Volunteer from Home’ initiative, to provide quality education to the deprived students across the country. The initiative saw over 600 employees of various Hinduja Group companies register as teachers to take online classes for these children.
The NGO also strives to ensure a positive socio-economic change in India in the fields of education, water stewardship, healthcare, sustainable rural development, social welfare, and art and culture.
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