Crowdfunding for medical treatment is quickly picking up pace in India, and cases of implants are featuring on a large scale on these platforms. A large number of children in India are speech impaired, which is often the result of hearing impairments. A way out of this is providing for ear transplants, medically known as cochlear implants. Each cochlear implant has 2 parts- the external part consisting of a microphone, a speech processor and a transmitter, and an internal part fixed to the skull bone that contains a receiver-stimulating system.
While for children cochlear implants are done usually to correct congenital defects or for dealing with disabling injuries, for adults, cochlear implants are done to tackle hearing loss due to age, diseases or disabling injuries
Each year, an average of 10,000 children in India seek out cochlear implants. This number is not even close to the actual number of children who need help. Till late 2015 and early 2016, the cost of each cochlear implant would on an average be Rs.11 lakh!
While this is wildly beyond the means of any average Indian middle-class man, the government has actually done a lot to make cochlear transplant easily accessible to people. It has invited competitive bids to join its scheme of supporting the disabled. As a result, the cost of ear implants has crashed from Rs.11 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh in one go. Not only that, the centre now supports 500 children each year by getting them cochlear implants.
The price has been on a decline ever since. While it is yet to reach the prospected Rs. 1 lakh due to the many technicalities involved, there are genuine efforts to control the pricing of essential medical implants, including cochlear implants.
And yet, in spite of all this, the cochlear implants are still out of the reach of the average lower-middle class person, let alone the poor. Qualifying for the government’s scheme is a detailed and hence a slow process, which simply can’t keep up with the sheer number of those in need. And this is where crowdfunding can come in to help those children who need money for medical treatment.
Crowdfunding in India for a cochlear implant is really easy. All you need to do is to put up a convincing story with videos and illustrations documenting your work and those the campaign would benefit. Though if you are not a non-profit, or are a novice in the field, it is better to start small. You can always team up with influential people willing enough to sponsor your cause and make it a stronger campaign.