Neither Covid nor lockdown restrictions has stalled the paediatric heart surgeries project of RC Bombay, RID 3141, which it is currently implementing through two global grants. While the first GG project (₹1.3 crore) will be wrapped up by March-end with a target of 125 heart surgeries (119 done so far), the second GG is much bigger aiming to reach out to at least 350 needy children.
Giving a ringside view of the implementation process, Paediatric Heart Surgeries Committee chairman Jaymin Jhaveri says all the surgeries under the first GG are being done at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), Andheri, and for the second GG, the club has tied up with two more hospitals — SRCC Children’s Hospital, Haji Ali, and Haria Rotary Hospital, Vapi (Gujarat). “So far 75 surgeries were done under the second grant (₹3.6 crore) and we have received 50 per cent of this amount. Once we finish about 140–150 surgeries, a detailed report with patient details, documents, types of surgery with accompanying pictures and audited paperwork will be sent to RI’s grants department. After vetting the report, they will release the balance amount for the rest of the project,” he explains.
The club has tied up with local hospitals to conduct mega heart-screening camps for children in and around Mumbai. “We had the last such medical camp at the Aastha Hospital, Manor, in November to identify the project beneficiaries,” says Jhaveri. The state government also comes up with a list of eligible patients under its children’s healthcare schemes.
Having received two sets of children’s names, one from the government and the other from the hospitals, a four-member panel led by Jhaveri and consisting of DGN Sandip Agarwalla, past president Vijay K Jatia and Rtn Swati Jajodia shortlist the beneficiaries.
The panel first verifies the financial status of a child’s family, then looks into the Aadhaar, ration cards and the income certificate of the patient’s father. “Any needy child from across the country, from newborn to 18 years, is eligible for free heart surgery,” says Jhaveri.
It all started when Inner Wheel District 314 chairperson Jyoti Doshi came out with the idea of heart surgeries for poor children two years back and RC Bombay took it up with zeal, says DGN Agarwalla. While the first GG project is being done with support from RC Bombay Pier and RC Detroit, US, RID 6400; the second one is executed with RC Lviv-Centre, Ukraine, as its global partner. “Among the Rotary volunteers and Anns overseeing the surgeries is Ann Natasha Sejpal (wife of Parth Sejpal of RC Mumbai Lakers), who has devoted her entire life in taking care of children at the KDAH,” he says.