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Dimapur Rotarians bequeath 112 children with the “Gift of Life”

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DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 8: A total of 112 children from varied backgrounds received the “Gift of Life” from the Rotary Club of Dimapur in the past 17 to 18 years. The children were treated for congenital heart defects free of cost by the Rotary Club.
As the 112th child successfully underwent treatment at Raipur, Chhatisgarh, and returned to Nagaland, one could see the joy and happiness on the faces of the parents, who heaped praises on the Rotarians for making it easy for them to overcome the pain and suffering of their 4-year old boy.
The 4-year old, Honyong Phom was also present along with his parents, Hennyei Phom and Phonglong Phom.
Talking to media persons today at Rotary Club of Dimapur, Rotarian Pradip Kumar Jain, who is also Chairman of the project, gave a brief account of their journey towards their most important and ambitious projects, which has given a second lease of life to 112 children so far.
He informed that the project ‘Gift of Life’ was initiated way back in 2005-2006 by the then RI Director, Sushil Gupta after the free heart surgery project for corrective surgery of children born with congenital heart defects (CHD), known as “Heart to Heart” project as introduced in Rotary Club of Dimapur in 2005-06 by the then DG Kalpana Khound.
Terming it as a breakthrough in medical world fulfilling the long standing need of the community, Pradip disclosed that the first case was sent to Delhi in 2006-07. Mohan Malakar, 6 year old son of a construction worker was successfully operated at Delhi, he said adding Mohan is now leading a normal life as a young man.
The second case was sent to Delhi in 2007-2008 where a 2-year old Chunchum, daughter of a primary school teacher from Peren, was successfully operated at Delhi, he said.
Pradip further said that when the project started many doctors did not believe in their assurance of free surgery but Doctor Rotarians of the Club convinced the medical fraternity about the project.
He also disclosed that the Rotary Club takes the responsibility of the child’s surgery, as well as other help and facilitate the family members to reach the concerned hospitals where the surgery is done.
He informed that in 2010-11, Rotary District 3240 begun its own free heart surgery project, “Heart to Heart” at Durgapur under the global grant which was brought because of the pioneering efforts of the then DG Ashok Agarwal (2010-11). He said the Durgapur saved the logistic problems of the patients as children were operated there saving on journey time.
After the global grant was over at Durgapur, they shifted the project to Raipur with the help of PDG Shashi Varvandkar, who made arrangements with Sri Sathya Sai Sanjivani Hospital, Raipur. The 112th children was operated in the same hospital and stayed there for more than 2 months before he was discharged.
Rotarian Pradip also informed that the Club had organized 3 heart defects screening camps in the last few years, which helped them to know the depth of the problems.
He also disclosed that in the past many years, the Club has received help from well-wishers and even politicians to run this project and they were able to send children to well-known hospitals such as Fortis, Narayana, National Heart Institute, etc., for the surgery.
He said the Rotary Club has helped in performing more than 5000 surgeries on children with congenital heart defects throughout India.
Stating that the surgeries might cost Rs 2 to 6 lakhs depending on the nature of the problems, the project Chairman said the Rotary Club has been funding for the surgery all these years. He disclosed that initially they also received funds from US Rotary Foundation.
He also informed that the 113th child Topila was operated just 2 days ago.
Lamenting that there is no awareness amongst people about the congenital heart defects and the projects run by the Rotary Club, Pradip said that if the Government of Nagaland provides fund, they would be able to bring experts from outside and provide treatments in Nagaland itself. He said operations can be done in Nagaland provided all logistics are made available.
He also said that the Rotary Club can also have joint venture projects with Government of Nagaland.
When asked about the criteria for children’s operations, Pradip said that there are no such criteria but they consider children up to 12 years and in rare cases up to 18 years.
On the occasion, the parents of the 4-year old boy also spoke about their experience with their child’s heart problems and how they came to know about the Rotary Club’s project. They thanked the Rotary Club and Sathya Sai Sanjivani Hospital, Raipur, for all the help and treatment/surgery of their child.
(Page News Service)

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