The Touching Little Hearts — a paediatric cardiac surgery initiative — begun in 2012–13 in RID 3140 by PDG Dr Bal Inamdar has saved over 2,000 little lives so far. Rotary clubs across the district have sponsored around 1,000 surgeries at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) during the first year, after which five more hospitals in Mumbai were added in the last four years. It continues to touch a chord in many Rotarians in RIDs 3141 and 3142.
More recently, the project has attracted the support of a global grant with Rotary Clubs of Mumbai West Coast, Deonar and Bombay Bandra of RID 3141, international sponsors RC Walsall and RID 1210, England, and TRF. A grant of $69,500 will support 50 paediatric heart surgeries. Part of the grant will assist in conducting rural camps to screen for congenital heart defects in children, and provide corrective treatment for them at the KDAH, said PDG Inamdar who is the brain behind the global grant.
RI Director Bharat Pandya handed over the first cheque to KDAH for the surgery of eight-month-old Rudra Galande suffering from pulmonary atresia, a condition that requires urgent surgical intervention. His parents, being farm labourers from a remote village near Nanded, could not afford the expensive surgical correction. They profusely thanked Dr Pandya for saving their son. The child may have to undergo a series of surgeries to correct the birth defect.
Dr Pandya appreciated the enormous philanthropic work done by Rotarians of both the districts and underlined the necessity for collaboration of Rotary clubs worldwide to better lives of the underprivileged. “Support the Foundation so that more and more such large projects can be implemented to benefit communities,” he said to the Rotarians present at the KDAH. Dr Suresh Rao, Dr Santosh Shetty and Narayanan from the hospital thanked the Rotarians for their significant support over the years.