Sunil Gavaskar, Legendary Cricketer and Chairman of Board of Governors of Heart to Heart Foundation (H2H Foundation), recently sponsored 34 pediatric heart surgeries for children from economically and socially challenged sections of society in India matching his 34 cricketing centuries. These life-giving surgeries were performed by the Sai Sanjeevani hospitals. “These tiny tots are waiting for their hearts to be healed. Pediatric cardiac treatment should be within the reach of every child and every parent irrespective of their financial or social status,” said Mr. Gavaskar.
The absence of sophisticated pediatric care is resulting in over 250 children dying every day in India. In India, each year approximately 300,000 children are born with CHD and tragically approximately 25% die before their first birthday. The Sai Sanjeevani hospitals in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Haryana are India’s largest provider of totally free pediatric heart procedures performing nearly 10,000 surgeries and catheter interventions since 2012. “The centers stand committed to the investment in child health initiatives for a healthier nation in the future, by offering quality healthcare provided totally free of cost irrespective of religion, caste, nationality or gender,” said Mr. C Sreenivas, Chairman of Sai Sanjeevani hospitals.
These free heart surgeries, screening programs for childhood CHD detection and prevention through better nutrition of expectant mothers as well as research to prevent the formation of CHD are all part of the initiative to achieve Freedom from CHD in India.
“There are over 36,000 children waiting for a free heart surgery in the next two years. We are targeting to support 5,000 free heart surgeries this year, increasing each year thereafter,” said Mr. Arvind Thiagarajan, Trustee & Director of H2H Foundation. Costs for the surgeries and other programs needed would run into several millions of dollars each year. To help meet this urgent need the H2H Foundation launched the “Freedom from CHD” initiative for spreading awareness and participation for free heart surgeries in India through events, starting with the multi-city tour titled “Batting-for-Life” involving Heart to Heart conversations with the cricketing legend. Mr. Sunil Gavaskar will be signing memorabilia bats for the event attendees who will “Bat-for-Life” by supporting free heart surgeries and he is requesting everyone to participate, for saving children and building the nation!
About Heart to Heart Foundation
H2H Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to saving the lives of children born with congenital heart defects (CHDS) by providing free pediatric cardiac surgeries. To learn more or participate please visit www.h2h.foundation.