Restoring burn victims’ dignity

PRIP Kalyan Banerjee, Project Chairperson and member of RC Deonar Reema Nair, Rajendra Datye (PP) and A V Suresh, President, (in jacket behind Banerjee).
PRIP Kalyan Banerjee, Project Chairperson and member of RC Deonar Reema Nair, Rajendra Datye (PP) and A V Suresh, President, (in jacket behind Banerjee).

Can you imagine the kind of life a burn survivor leads, if not treated in time? The kind of trauma she would go through everyday when looking at herself in the mirror? It would be a life of despair and rejection.

To give hope and decent life to victims of burns, in 2009, RC Deonar, D 3141, conceived and implemented its signature project “Operation Restore”. Under this project a surgery camp is organised to give relief to burn victims. As a result, 2-year-old Supriya from Odisha, who suffered 80 per cent burns when she was just 2 months old, is now able to fully use her right hand, which was fused into a mass due to the fire.

Burn injuries are commonly caused by accidents, cooking flames, suicide, dowry related issues or acid attacks. Many of these victims can’t afford surgery and many don’t get proper treatment on time. Unable to afford medical and surgical treatment, many of these survivors lead a life of despair and lose their confidence to face the world again.

“We have undertaken the humongous task of giving these survivors their lives back through this project in association with National Burns Centre (NBC), Airoli, which is a 50-bed speciality and centre of excellence for research, training, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for all aspects related to burn injuries. Dr Sunil ­Keswani (Director of NBC and a very senior Rotarian of our club) facilitates these operations in association with the NBC hospital staff. Through this project, we conduct three camps a year, where we provide financial assistance for conducting these surgeries at no cost to these burn survivors who are from BPL families,” says A V Suresh, President, RC Deonar.

This year the Club conducted its 14th camp, in which 24 surgeries for burns survivors were conducted. The camp, inaugurated by TRF Trustee Chair Kalyan Banerjee, was supported also by Rotary Club of Bombay North and four other co-host Rotary Clubs.

“So far, we have treated 400 patients and brought smiles on their and their family members’ faces. This being the Centennial Year for Rotary, we have pledged to perform 100 surgeries and are involving many more clubs to participate in this project to create a bigger impact,” adds Suresh.

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