My name is Rekha Prajapat, and I am from Bhakrota Khurd, Ajay Rajpura village, Jaipur. I am 18 years old and in the 12th grade at Govt Adarsh Senior secondary school, Ajayrajpura.
For about a couple of years, I was frequently experiencing ear pain and occasional discharges from my ear. This seriously impeded my ability to hear properly, leading to an adverse impact on my studies. In our community, such ear problems neither get the requisite attention nor the treatment they require, and I was unaware of the consequences of the issues I was experiencing.
We incidentally had an ear screening drive organized by a team of community health workers from Shruti in association with Siddham ENT hospital Jaipur. When they screened my ear, it came to light that my left ear drum was damaged and that there was a hole/perforation on the ear drum. They showed me images of my ear, which was eye-opening.
Financial constraints coupled with general reluctance had made us defer the treatment. Still, then a tele-counselor from the Shruti program took the time to explain to my family and me the seriousness of the issue and the consequences of not undergoing treatment. When we visited Siddham ENT hospital in Jaipur for the first round of consultation, it emerged that I would require surgical intervention on the CSOM issue on my left ear drum. The cost of this procedure would cost me somewhere between INR 15k-20k, which was way beyond our means. Consequently, we concluded that we could not afford the treatment.
Thankfully, the Shruti tele-counselor got back in touch with us and informed us of the Chiranjeevi Yojana, an initiative by the state government of Rajasthan. This program provides monetary assistance for people who might need surgical intervention. The Shruti team played a significant role from this point onwards and helped us register ourselves as a beneficiary of this program, and to schedule the surgery.
On 5th September 2022, I underwent Tympanoplasty on my left ear. Barring the occasional mild pain I experienced, I have completely recovered. I feel happy that the trauma I underwent for almost two years is behind me. I am now able to focus on my studies.
On this occasion, I would like to thank the Shruti team. From explaining the diagnosis to helping us with treatment pathways, they played a pivotal role in this journey. The hospital staff and the surgeon took excellent care of me. I now encourage my community to proactively get themselves screened. More importantly, I also urge them not to procrastinate treatment as early intervention, in a lot of cases, can make a huge difference.