The best way to illustrate a problem is with the help of statistics.
In India every 60000-80000 children are born needing heart surgery and only 20000 are able to get treatment.That means year on year a staggering 40000-60000 children do not get the life saving heart surgery that they need to lead normal healthy lives.
If you do the maths covering the period since India became independent in 1947, the mind boggles
The bigger tragedy is that 85% of these defects are eminently correctable with relatively straightforward heart surgery following which these children are sorted for life. Instead as these children do not have access to this basic heart surgery they languish in ill health lead miserable lives and many many thousands die prematurely.
This picture is mirrored across the developing world but infact in many many countries the situation is much worse where there are NO children’s heart centres in the 21st Century whilst at the same time we are sending probes to Pluto and Missions to Mars!!
As you have read about the huge problem we face I’m sure you’ll agree the statistics are shocking and almost beyond comprehension.
The U.K. has 12 specialist children’s heart centre’s for a population of around 60 million whilst India has about 20 for a population of over 1.2 billion!!
You might ask, why are we trying to address this problem? Well, apart from the staggering statistics, this is about giving something back. since most of us living in the developed world lead comfortable, healthy lives.
I would like to suggest a couple of principles whilst approaching this huge.
The first principle is a term I have coined called TOLO: ‘They Only Live Once’.
Like most other people who like yourself ‘work hard and play hard’ I subscribe to the paradigm of ‘You Only Live Once’ #HLHTolo: ‘They Only Live Once’
‘They’ represents the desperately ill and poor children that need our help, who through no fault of their own are born with serious illness and life threatening heart problems and to compound the tragedy are born into the poorest families not just in India, across the developing world!
The second principle is the concept of Individual Social Responsibility (ISR).
We’ve all heard of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which of course is something we have all come to expect of large corporations but surely each of us as individuals has a similar role to play in helping those less fortunate than us. Trust me, there is NO GREATER SENSE OF SATISFACTION than watching beaming ecstatic parents taking their child home having been given a new lease of life.
Please be part of this endeavour, infact let’s make it our journey together to make a difference to these unfortunate children so that 5 years from now and 5 years after that and so on, we can look back and say that together we have been able to transform the lives of hundreds if not thousands of children.
Give with Confidence – Give With Love
Dr Sanjiv Nichani