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