Nabha Wamburkar

Parents play a key part in shaping the lives of their children. But the story of a mother’s dogged search for a remedy for her daughter is sure to give you goosebumps.

When Nabha Wamburkar was barely 15 days old, her mother Abha had a premonition about her. Abha’s worst fears were realized when Nabha did not respond to the loud whistling of a pressure cooker. She got Nabha’s hearing evaluated and confirmed Nabha’s hearing loss.

Nabha started speech therapy when she was 7 months old. She also wore optimally fitted hearing aids. But none of these helped in the development of her speech. The performing artist in Abha could not come to terms to the fact that her daughter could not talk to her.

After an agonising wait of 2.5 years, Abha heard of cochlear implants being done for children in India. However, the outcomes were uncertain. But the entire family were confident that a cochlear implant would benefit Nabha. And so in 1999, at the age of 3 years and 4 months, Dr. Milind Kirtane implanted Nabha with a cochlear implant.

Nabha now is every bit a normal happy-go-lucky teenager. She is a badminton champion and recently won a bronze in women’s doubles at Asia Pacific Deaf Games Taipei 2015. Nabha is extremely articulate in English and loves Bollywood music. She also loves to travel for adventure and has visited far flung places such as Ladakh.

Nabha is now pursuing a Bachelor’s degree course in Computer Applications from Pune University and is keen to contribute to the field of cochlear implants.