THE BIRTH OF THE IDEA
Many great projects have a very simple beginning. This project was no exception and it became a reality when a President of a Rotary club and one of its members were discussing ideas to do a 'good project' on a flight back home. The President was Rtn. Venkatesh, President of Rotary club of Coimbatore Metropolis and the Rotarian was Dr S Raja Sabapathy and they had gone to Kolkata where Dr Raja Sabapathy was given the Rotary International Foundation's 'Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award' at the Rotary Institute Meeting at Kolkatta. The meeting and the speeches at the Rotary Institute were impressive and both sitting together on the way back home, wanted to do something 'Big', something 'which made a lasting difference in the lives of people', and 'something about which we could be proud about to have been part of...'
Dr Raja Sabapathy, being a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon was aware of the problems of post burn victims, and the magnitude of the problem in the society. Though it appeared to be a daunting task, Rtn. President Venkatesh, said that, 'we will go ahead, no matter what it takes...." He surely was counting on the support of all the club members and as expected every member of the Rotary club of Coimbatore Metropolis gave their full hearted support.
The project got to a flying start on 10th March 2012 with the film actor Mr. Surya inaugurating the project in the presence of Padmasri Dr. Mathangi Ramakrishnan, a renowned Burn Surgeon.
WHAT MAKES THIS PROJECT UNIQUE?
It's Scope and Dimension
This project addresses a special need in the society. Every minute in India, five people are severely burned. Burns are India's third leading cause of 'burden of disease' with more than 3 million people burned each year.(Ref: Resurge International). For every burn related death, there must be at least 10 people who would be severely injured.
The standard of acute care leaves much to be desired. So most of them end up with some form of deformity. Reconstructing them all is a mammoth undertaking, but the commitment of all the members of the Rotary Club of Coimbatore Metropolis and the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department of Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore will see it through.
It's Demand on Skills and Resources
One may ask, 'Has such a project not been done before?'. A good question. How can such a need in the society not been addressed before? Lot of efforts have been taken, but they are not enough A number of camp surgeries have been conducted for the care of burn contractures and many continue to be done. In these camps only minor problems can be addressed with small procedures. That leaves a huge group of patients unanswered and it is to these unfortunate patients "Hope After Fire" provides hope.
It needs a highly motivated and skilled team to do such reconstructions. The Plastic Surgery team at Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore, India headed by Dr Raja Sabapathy, who is also a Rotarian is highly regarded by their peers for their commitment to work and outcomes achieved. The entire team is fully geared to make this project a success, 'no matter what it takes to get there...'
Since most reconstructions need multiple stages, the project is resource intensive. The members of the Rotary Club of Coimbatore Metropolis and the whole Presidential line up of Rtn Rathan Chand, Rtn Hemant Shah, Rtn AVM Vijayakumar and Project Coordinator Rtn Ramesh Veeraraghavan are committed to the project.
It's a test on our ability to 'run the marathon': People like Babu, Nancy, Kadirvel and all the children whose stories we have featured in this website do need frequent follow up, some touch up procedures, long term physiotherapy, splints to maintain the gains of surgery and last but not the least psychological support and help towards gainful employment. They all need an address to come back to and an institution which will be committed to their care. Ganga Hospital, is committed to take care of them. This project is not a 100 metres sprint, it is a marathon that we are taking up.
It's a Project Where We Can See Results
It is a project which visibly changes the course of people's lives. The outcome is obvious and a donor can be sure that his contribution has gone to a right cause.
Deformity due to spilling of boiling water on Baby Mayil Vannan's Left Hand.
Below are the Post Operative Pictures of him using his hand.
Every Rupee Travels a Long Mile
Many charity projects have been evaluated on the return on investment scale. It has been found that the return on investment in correcting post burn deformities is 13:1. This is based on using the GNI/capita (Atlas Method, UNICEF) and the World Health Organization's Global Burden of Disease Study statistics on productive years lost due to certain diseases (DALYS).
This is a very conservative estimate and assumes the patient has regained 25% of his / her functionality in many cases, the patients are completely 'cured' and they go back to productive lives.
You can be sure that every rupee you donate goes to a good and worthy cause.
The Journey So Far
Since the project got off in March 2012, we have had a great opportunity to change the lives of lot of deserving people.
As on 31 May 2023
|Total number of Patients underwent surgery||737|
|Total number of Surgical procedures||1258|
|Total Cost||₹ 8,91,92,305|
|Rotary Club of Coimbatore Metropolis Contribution||₹ 5,40,40,075|
|Ganga Hospital Contribution||₹ 3,51,52,230|
When we reached the milestone of 100 surgeries, we held a beneficiaries meet with the Rotarians. The patients shared their thoughts as to how the project made a difference in their lives and profusely thanked the Rotary and Plastic Surgery team of Ganga Hospital for making it possible.
It is all about changing lives, you can be a part of it. We need you to participate in this journey.