When a lively Santhimmayya, a villager in Karnataka, approached Dr Vishal Rao for treatment for throat cancer, he was dejected lo learn that he would be losing his voice after laryngectomy (removal of the larynx or voice box). An imported prosthesis (an artificial device that replaces a missing body part) was beyond his reach as it would have cost him around Rs 30,000. That got Dr Rao, a head and neck surgeon at Health Care Global Enterprises Limited (HCG), thinking and he came up with an idea for a low-cost and effective prosthesis. “Smoking beedis and consumption of tobacco are the most common causes for throat cancer. A large section of this population belong to the lower income group. AUM is my attempt to create something affordable at less than dollar. However, there is no compromise on the quality or the effectiveness of AUM,” says Dr Rao.