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Speech is a right and not a privilege, Dr Vishal Rao who is changing the lives of throat cancer patients

Sunoj Nambiar Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Speech is a right and not a privilege, Dr Vishal Rao who is changing the lives of throat cancer patients

"Speech is a right and not a privilege and that was the reason that I felt that there was a dire need to help the Throat cancer patients speak again," said Dr Vishal Rao, who invented a $1 device helping cancer patients speak again.

The story started with a casual discussion on how we can help one of our security guard who lost his job as he had lost his voice after he recovered from throat cancer, Dr Rao shared his experiences with IndiansinKuwait.com.

Dr Vishal Rao, a leading head and neck oncologist and surgeon, and also a member of the Consultative Group to the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, was in Kuwait last week to attend an international conference organised by the Kuwait Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Speaking to IndiansinKuwait.com, Dr Rao shared how the thought came to develop a device for the common man as the only available device was one from US and another one from Europe, both of them was not accessible to the large spectrum of the common man due to the high cost of 1000s of US dollar involved with it.

"When we sat to discuss about fund raising to buy that costly device for our security guard, who lost his voice after throat cancer, one of my friend asked me why don’t you invent such a device for the security guard, and that was the initial spark for me to think in that way," Said Dr Rao. "After months of experiments, with my friend and partner Shashank, we were able to develop a sound box which cost only 1$," Dr Rao said.

"Throat cancer patients, especially in Stage 4, end up losing their voice box because by that time the voice box is completely destroyed," explains Dr Rao.

"When God gave us this voice, he did not charge for it, so the voice is our God given right," he said. All those who worked on this project gave their time and expertise for free. We called this box as "Aum voice box" after our first patient, that security guard, said "Aum Manjunatha" after he regain his voice with this box.

Now we are planning to scale it up to make this device available in 144 countries. For that we are trying to collaborate with NGO and Philanthropist.

Now government of India is supporting me and is partnering with us to provide this device to the low income people. Our non-profit wing, in partner with government agencies, are giving this device free of cost to low income people. We also have tie up with private hospitals where the affluent patience can pay a small cost so that they can support this project, and for middle class people we have fund raising team which raise the fund and give this device free of cost. "The idea is nobody should go without a voice," Dr Rao said.

The device is fully manufactured in India at their sophisticated centre in Bangalore.

Dr Rao and his team are now planning to take their innovation to foreign shores with his ‘Aum Voice Chain’ where anyone with that kind of mind set can join with his "Voice chain" network to give voice to the poorest of the poor across the globe.

Dr Vishal Rao showed the world that our simple sacrifice can make a big change in the world. "This was a simple innovation that has touched many lives in a very simple way."


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SJ
Thursday, December 21, 2023
Well done, doctor ! God bless.

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