Devangi Dalal: The First Indian to Win The Humanitarian Award by the American Academy of Audiology

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Pune, November 18, 2020: Devangi Dalal, an audiologist, speech therapist and co-founder of Josh Foundation has added another feather to her achievement cap by becoming the first Indian to win the Humanitarian award given by the American Academy of Audiology. Earlier this year, Dalal was announced as the first Indian Hearing Health Advocate for the Coalition for Global Hearing Health (CGHH) in association with the World Health Organisation (WHO).


The social worker has an experience of over 29 years as an Audiologist and Speech Therapist. Her NGO, Josh Foundation works towards the upliftment of hearing-impaired children. She was the youngest executive member of the Indian Speech-Language and Hearing Association and has recently been appointed as the National Coordinator for Private Practitioners of Audiology in India.


She has, consistently, been participating and representing India in Pediatric Audiology related Conferences worldwide. She was recently felicitated as ‘Unsung heroes of India’ by Ek Prayas, an Ngo working for educating less fortunate children. She was felicitated by the renowned owner of MDH, Dharampal Gulati. On the occasion of Women’s Day 2020, she was honoured for her work towards the upliftment of hearing-impaired children by Smitha Thackeray’s Mukkti foundation at an event dedicated to the women of substance.


Dalal’s work towards hearing-impaired children has brought her to the attention of the media. She won the Women Influencers Award in 2019. She has been interviewed by several newspapers-English and regional and has also appeared on several television debates to spread awareness for the hearing-impaired. She has a long list of accomplishments, right from the beginning of her career. She was the executive secretary of Maharashtra Speech & Hearing Association. A consistent winner of Best Pediatric Hearing Aid Center in India for many years. She is also the first Indian to present the Learning Module, “A Road map to Independence for Children with Hearing Impairment in Developing Countries” at Audiology now- 2016—conference organized by the American Academy of Audiology, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.


Dalal is the author of the books, ‘Chalo Badhirone Sambhalta Kariye’ in Gujarati and ‘Kuch Suna Aapne’ in Hindi, for the hearing-impaired and also directed a 17-minute telefilm to create awareness of hearing impairment. She has presented a scientific paper on ‘Middle Ear Problems in Management of Hearing Impaired Children’ at a National Conference in Patna, India and advised and acted in a Marathi (Indian Regional Language) TV serial – ‘Asa Ka Gadhla?’ on Star Maaza TV channel, among other things.


She, actively, organizes and participates in events where she can spread awareness about hearing-impaired children. So far, her foundation has distributed over a thousand hearing aids to children and has, successfully, been able to provide children of 12 schools with 100 percent digital hearing aids. She has been instrumental in collecting funds to the tune of more than Rs 3.5 Crore so far, to support these hearing-impaired children.


She is also the first female Leo President of Juhu Club. In 2002-03, she was appointed as the Chairperson of the Lion Lady Auxiliary Committee of Lions Club of Juhu and in 2018-19, as a Leo Advisor of Leo Club of Juhu. She wrote the lyrics to the Leo anthem and the same was produced by her with the music being composed by well-known music director, Lalit Panditji and sung by Raj (American singer) and Shibani Kashyap. Under her guidance, Leo club of Juhu won the International Excellence Award from Lions International.


With the aim of bringing about a change in society on how hearing and speech impaired children are viewed and treated, the mother of two children feels that her journey has just begun and there is a long way to go.

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