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The Backwardness of Alipur of Karnataka

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Paying the price for choosing to live in safety

Sahana Charan

Monday, May 28, 2007

258 people suffer varying degrees of hearing impairment in Alipur

Bangalore: The loud and unpleasant clamour that the gemstone polishing equipment makes does not seem to bother 18-year-old Mohammed Taqi as he busies himself in cutting and polishing stone after stone on it.

For that matter most of the members in his family are oblivious to its jarring noise, or indeed to any other noise, loud or otherwise. For, 10 members of Taqi's family, including himself, his parents, three siblings, and five nieces and nephews, are profoundly deaf.

Theirs is one of the many families suffering the same condition in this remote village, Alipur, in Gowribidanur taluk of Kolar district. Of the nearly 14,000 people of the village, 258 suffer varying degrees of hearing impairment.

المنظر الفضائي والخارطة لقرية عليبور، كارنتاكا، الهند
Map of Alipur, Karnataka, India
Notice the Imam Khomeini Road snaking through the eastern side of the village

This has been established by a survey done by the Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the Grameena Abhyudaya Seva Samsthe (GASS), a voluntary organisation working in that area. The affected persons belong to Shia Muslim community.

"We have done a door-to-door survey of the families in the village and found that of the 2,550 households, people in 500 households are affected with one form of disability or the other. Of these, impaired hearing and physical handicaps are the most common, followed by low vision," said B. Venkatesh of GASS.

This preliminary survey seems to suggest that consanguineous marriages (marriage among close relatives) may be the cause for the high incidence of hearing disability in the village, according to a report submitted by the State Assistant Commissioner for Disabilities Ishrath Afza to the Chief Commissioner for Disabilities, New Delhi, and the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare Services.

"We have asked GASS to conduct another detailed survey to establish the extent of disability in the village. We have also asked the Ministry to include Alipur village in the National Programme for Prevention of Deafness so that awareness can be created among the villagers about the need to avoid marriage among close relatives," Ms. Israth told The Hindu.

Syed Haider Hussain, a senior community leader and president of the Anjuman-e-Jaffariya Trust, admits that consanguineous marriages are taking place in the village which could be the cause of the disability.

The village has a low crime rate, zero alcohol consumption, and no prostitution. The trust helps the needy in the village and ensures that every family in the community lives in a concrete house.

Article source

This source of this article is The Hindu

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This article page was created on 29 November 2010.

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