International Training Workshop funded by British Academy on “Aphasia in South Asian Languages (ASAL)” during July 20-21, 2023 organised by Linguistic Research Unit of Indian Statistical Institute in collaboration with the University of Reading, UK held at ISI, Kolkata
The Linguistic Research Unit (LRU) of the Indian Statistical Institute in collaboration with the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK organized a 2-day International Training Workshop on “Aphasia in South Asian Languages (ASAL)” during 20-21 July 2023.
It was funded by the British Academy and held at ISI, Kolkata campus with the gracious presence of Dr. Arpita Bose, University of Reading, UK; Dr. Sunila John, MAHE, Manipal; Dr. Maya Leela, Trivandrum; Dr. Avanthi Paplikar, SRCISH, Bangalore; Dr. Manaswita Dutta, Portland State University, Oregon, USA; Dr. Mythili Menon, Wichita State University, USA; Dr. Apoorva Pauranik, Paruranik Healthcare Center, Indore; Dr. Lakshmi Venkatesh, SRIHER, Chennai; Dr. Sakshi Bhatia, University of Delhi, New Delhi and Prof. Niladri Sekhar Dash of LRU, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
Dr. Arpita Bose stated the workshop was a milestone in the progress of the study on Aphasia in India. She expressed that Aphasia affects 35-40% of stroke survivors and severely limits our quality of life. Inability to speak or understand impacts our social interactions, ability to perform our jobs, and interact with relations. The incidence and prevalence of stroke and aphasia are already increasing in India, and they would continue to increase exponentially due to an increase in ageing populations with known high risks for stroke (e.g., high blood pressure, obesity, aging, etc.).
In explaining the importance of this International Workshop on ASAL, Prof. Niladri Sekhar Dash said most existing tools used in aphasia assessments have been developed in English in Western countries which hardly reflects on the challenges involved in Indian languages and people. With funding from the British Academy, Indian Statistical Institute, India, and the University of Reading, UK are leading a pioneering multi-centered, interdisciplinary, and international project “Aphasia in South Asian Languages” (ASAL) to research aphasia in five languages, namely, Bengali, Hindi-Urdu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil. He also informed that research and clinical scientists from Manipal, Chennai, Bangaluru, Indore, and Trivandrum as well as from UK and USA have taken part to make this ambitious project a grand success.
The Welcome address of the workshop was delivered by Dr. Arpita Bose, however, Dr. Manaswita Dutta discussed the recent developments and emerging trends in Aphasia. Among the other distinguished speakers from the Research and Clinical Scientists, Dr. Arpita Bose and Dr. Lakshmi Venkatesh explored rationale and stimuli, ensuring the reliability of data collection, mitigating difficulties and enhancing rigour, etc. Moreover, Dr. Avanthi Paplikar, Dr. Sunila John, Dr. Lakshmi Venkatesh, Dr. Maya Leela, and Prof. Niladri S. Dash shared their expertise and experience with the participants about Testing protocol, history taking & basic cognitive screening, implications for research, data gathering, data archiving, data annotation and processing, data sharing and communication platforms, etc.
About 20 passed-out master’s students, research scholars, and faculty members from different universities, and clinical research laboratories from all over the country and also from abroad attended this workshop.
The workshop is expected to play a crucial role in developing better assessment and rehabilitation mechanisms appropriate for people with aphasia who speak more than one Indian language. It also showcases the contributions of Indian scientists at international scientific and clinical studies platforms.