Entering a pediatric ICU with little babies and children connected to machines beeping and a sense of anxiety weighing heavy in the air, I steeled myself against what was waiting for me inside. I was there to meet Umme, an angelic six-year-old from Patna, who had just had open-heart surgery. If there’s ever a heart-wrenching vision, it is that of a child in distress. And yet, if there’s ever an inspiring vision, it is that of a distressed child putting up a brave face. Umme is resilience personified. Umme is also one of the more than 750 children whose life has been saved by treatment the Genesis Foundation has supported.
We need to do something NOW
Living in India, one can’t ignore the sight of children who are underprivileged. At every traffic signal, in every slum, in orphanages, in so many of our interactions with people around that are less fortunate—we see them, we see their beautiful smiles. We see them make something of nothing. What we don’t see is the pain and suffering they may be dealing with.
We rank a dismal 112 among 190 countries on WHO’s World Health Report. In India 7% children die before their fifth birthday because they don’t have access to basic healthcare. Clearly there’s a huge gap to be filled.
There are several children born with congenital heart disease, cancer, thalassemia, organ failure, and extreme deformities. And every time I hear such a story, my heart goes out to them and I feel helpless. How can I help? Where do I start?
The right to live
When I heard about the fantastic work that Genesis Foundation is doing—supporting the treatment of children suffering from these critical illnesses—I knew I had found my way to help.
This is a fight we all MUST be a part of. The fight for the very basic right to LIVE—education, skill development, and habitat, everything else comes later. We need to give life a chance.
Genesis Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that supports critically ill children in the areas of cancer, cardiac disorder, organ transplant, thalassemia and extreme deformities. These are children from orphanages or from families where the monthly income is less than Rs 10,000.
With them every step of the way
The desire to make a difference is a very humane one. And the Genesis Foundation works with a humanity that is deeply compelling. Actually the word ‘support’ seems small for extent of engagement the foundation takes on for the care of these children. They literally handhold the families, from the stage of diagnosis right through treatment to recovery. Being with the family and the child through every stage. Making a difference personally, with a compassion and empathy that truly defines their approach.
And what I find absolutely commendable is that all the funds the Foundation raises go directly towards the treatment of children, because all other overheads are borne by their trustees. This means that every rupee that you donate goes where you want it to go—to support critically ill, underprivileged children.
I recently attended a fund-raiser by the Foundation where 40 CEOs sang to support the cause and raised money for the treatment of 9 critically ill children in one evening. It was great to see the CEOs put themselves out there and participate with such enthusiasm. It is rare to see people come out of there very structured work lives, shed their serious suits and sing on stage! Genesis Foundation’s unique, participative events, such as this one, make ‘giving’ so much fun.
For all of you who wish to make a difference in the lives of these little kids and their families, Genesis Foundation has a campaign where your contribution can be the bridge between critically ill kids and a life-transforming and life-saving treatment. Go here to add your drops in the ocean.
There are many people who have the resources and the inclination to make a difference but sometimes don’t find the avenues to make a difference. For all those people there is the Genesis Foundation.
It is work like this that reinstates my faith in humanity and assures me that each one of us wants to do more for the community and I am really proud to get the opportunity through Genesis Foundation to do my bit.