Pillars of Cochlea

Dr. Avinash M. Wachasunder

Dr. Avinash M. Wachasunder;  M.S. (ENT) Practicing ENT surgeon  in Pune who is Chief Managing Trustee of “Cochlea Pune for Hearing and Speech”. 
He had visited House Ear Institute at California for training on Cochlear Implant Surgery. He observed that a new born baby undergoes all the necessary tests for assessment of hearing, as a routine protocol. If the baby is detected to have hearing problems, further treatment is immediately planned. This early detection and intervention helps in making the deaf child, a normal child who can speak.
After returning to India, he undertook  pioneering work in the field of Early Intervention, leading to pre-school facility for Hearing Impaired (H.I.) Children. 

Today, under his able guidance, Cochlea Pune provides all facilities for the Hearing Impaired - Medical Help, Audiology, Audiometry, Speech Therapy, Pre-school facility and Teacher's Training all under one roof.

Mrs. Raksha Vinay Deshpande

Mrs. Raksha Vinay Deshpande is Master of Arts (Psychology), Diploma in Deaf Education, Master in Music

In the year 1998, she started her work in Cochlea Pune as a Special Educator; becoming the first teacher of Cochlea Pune, starting with one child. Her initiative in Home to Home training and insistence on Parent Counselling led to further studies on these issues and won her many accolades.

She is now in-charge of all the educational facilities provided by Cochlea.

She provided equal support in handling complete responsibility of education of these children. It goes to her credit that in the initial years, she literally walked for miles to reach the farmers / villagers, to spread awareness about this issue. In a society, where deafness is still looked upon as a curse, it was her determination that brought the deaf babies to Cochlea.

Today Dr. Wachasundar and Mrs. Raksha Deshpande are supported by a team of dedicated teachers, led by Mrs. Abhilasha Agnihotri.

Very important and innovative aspect of Cochlea, are the steps taken to build strong team of teachers.  To get the manpower for teaching;  mothers of hearing impaired babies are trained and made partner in the training programmes.
Right hand side bar to be replaced with photos of Dr. Wachasundar + awards won by him, Mrs. Raksha Deshpande + awards won by her  and photo of Cochlea team.

Awards received by Dr. Wachasundar :

  • Gaurav patra 2003-Deshastha Rugvedi Brahman Shikshanottejak Sanstha
  • Sanmaan Patra 2004- Shiva Jiddah Puraskar by Shivashakti Foundation, Pune
  • Swargiya Chimanlal Govindas Seva Gaurav Puraskar 2004 by Seth Chimanlal Govindas Memorial trust
  • Saraswati Ganesh Puraskar(medical) 2006 –by Rugvedi Brahman Shikshanottejak Sanstha, Pune
  • Appointed  as Exe Council member by Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for Hearing Handicapped

Awards received by Mrs. Raksha Deshpande :

  • 1st Prize for the paper "Home to Home Training" and Special prize for "Best & Innovative Presentation" in NCED 2006. 
  • "Best teacher Award" by Rotary Club of Pune Shivajinagar 
  • Honored with "Yuva Gaurav Puraskar" by PCMC in 2007 for her work in the field of Rehabilitation of Hearing Impaired Children 
  • “Lokmat Sakhi Sanmaan" by Lokmat in 2013
  • Ranwara Krutadnyata Puraskar” from Vanchit Vikas  
 “Chetana Puraskar” from Pune Marathi Granthalaya for the book “Hoy! Pratyek Karnabadhir Mool Bolel!!”, written by Dr Avinash Wachasundar and Mrs Raksha Deshpande.


Team Cochlea

Success Stories

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    Irfaan Mulani

    Irfaan did his preschool very well from the age 3 to 6yrs at Swaranaad. He got promoted successfully every year and was integrated into a main stream school in 2016

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    Shraddha Shilimkar

    Shraddha progressed from a hearing impaired child who could not speak at the age of 6 to a young girl, who is a blackbelt holder in Karate, a bharat natyam dancer and has scored 65% in her SSC exams this year.

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    Siddhant Gaikwad

    Swaranaad is proud of him as he was admitted directly to second standard, After the principal took his test, she said, “he knows all and more than we teach in the first standard, so why waste his year. He was detected when he was two yrs old. After the speech therapy he joined Swaranaad.

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    Om Babar
    Om came to Cochlea at the age of four years. He became confident as he was getting good academic training in ‘Swaranaad’ in a group of 6 children and developed language skills in Manoram in a group of 60 children.

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    Asawari Kulkarni
    Asawari bagged the ‘Best Student’ award in June 2015.She has scored 89% marks in her SSC exams from a school for normal children. She has passes the Sanskrit “ Madhyama’ exam and is a good Bharat Natyam dancer.

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    Hrishkesh Patil
    Hrishikesh can speak Marathi, English and Hindi. He has done M. Com., has won prizes in photography and is a hardcore trekker.Photos- compering, trekking photography prize.