Here is an example of how leveraging social networking sites helps Rotary clubs to provide medical and humanitarian services to the marginalised people. Two-year-old Miracle suffering from a heart disease had a successful operation in Kolkata with RC Belur, D 3291, taking up the initiative to bring the Aniagu family and their child from Nigeria following a Facebook post. In an FB post, an Indian-American Harshad Raveshia had requested for an emergency medical help as a team of US doctors could not perform surgery on the child for want of equipment and other facilities in Nigerian hospitals. R K Bubna, a member of the Belur club, took up the correspondence through phone and e-mails and Raveshia who represented Rotary eClub One (Houston, US, D 5450) was glad to forward the medical reports of the child to the club which submitted them to the Narayana Super Specialty Hospital, Howrah.
“We have an ongoing contract with the hospital for cardiac treatment of poor children and adults, not only from the local community, but also those living in Nigeria and Afghanistan under a global grant programme,” says Club President Rakesh Bhatia. After going through the medical reports, the hospital confirmed that they have the expertise to perform the surgery.
Miracle Aniagu and her parents arrived in Kolkata in the wee hours of October 25 and were admitted in the hospital on the same day. Following a series of preliminary tests and investigations, she was operated by Dr Debasish Das.
Apart from a hole in the heart, the doctors had to treat the left-side artery which was very small. The child was discharged on Nov 8 with her family.
Club members Ramesh Tiwari and Vishnu Dhandhania took care of the arrangements to make the family’s stay pleasant in Kolkata. This project was undertaken in partnership with Rotary eClub One and RC Greater Nigeria, D 9125.
You have shown us truly that humanity is greater than race and culture.
– Aniagu Joseph, Miracle’s father
In a complementary FB post, Raveshia wrote, “I understand they are in unknown place among unknown people. You are the only Star Person (referring to RC Belur) serving as Bridge between 2 Countries, 2 Clubs, 2 Cultures and 2 Communities. For all of us you are just next to GOD.”
In his thanksgiving letter to Bhatia, Miracle’s father Aniagu Joseph wrote, “You have shown us truly that humanity is greater than race and culture. These are acts we will never forget all through our lives and a testimony to be preached across the globe.”