Charity Begins at Home to beat UP govt apathy

Charity Begins at Home to beat UP Govt Apathy

It’s finally a reality, and timely so. After months of efforts, series of meetings and networking with NGOs that Saaksham Foundation, an organization working to address child and human rights violations, had been conducting to set up a ‘Emergency Fund for Destitute and Underprivileged Children in Medical Distress,’ a ray of hope was shown by none other than the former Social Welfare Commissioner, RK Mittal, through his well known organization Kabir Peace Mission.

Bringing relief to hundreds of children who cannot get access to emergency medical aid owing to their poor economical status, the Kabir Peace Mission, has taken on the responsibility to set up such a fund and call it the 'Welfare Fund.' Says RK Mittal, Chief Co-ordinator, Kabir Peace Mission, "The Welfare Fund will formerly be launched on 6 September 2009 at the mission's Life Member's Convention being organized at the City Montessori School, Vishal Khand, Gomti Nagar in Lucknow, Uttar Pardesh. We plan to initially ask the mission's life members to make the first contribution to the fund. We have already started receiving cheques of donation by many members who have been wanting to play their part in social charity but did not how. The first cheque was donated by the oldest member of the mission, Shri Ramesh Chandra Tripathi. Through the welfare fund all those who were wanting to make a contribution to a noble cause now can rest assured that the money will be properly used for charitable purposes like sponsoring education and providing immediate back up for medical treatment in very severe cases."

While the target has been set to raise Rs 50 Lakhs (INR 5 million) by 31 March 2010, but RK Mittal feels that the target will be achieved way before that. "There is a need in the society to find some salvation through these pious deeds and specially when there is no dearth of such people who want to help those who can't get help on their own. Since the focus of the Welfare Fund will be Health and Education these are activities that we all want to do our bit for. In addition to that by creating this fund Kabir Peace Mission will make an effort to create a credible and prominent forum to route the financial aid to those who need it the most," he adds.

Agrees Justice SC Verma, Chairman of Kabir Peace Mission and former Lok Ayukt, “The challenge will be to reach as many people as we can but initially we have to develop a corpus that can support the magnitude of requests we are expecting for assistance from the fund, both in medical and education. For that we have to ensure that once we get involved we don't pull back mid way, thus the planning has to be perfect."

Adds Anjali Singh, Director, Saaksham Foundation, "We had begun to give up hope when talks were leading nowhere for setting up this corpus. I personally met up with both government and private funding agencies but somehow the idea would not click. Then through Saaksham Foundation a proposal was made and sent to RK Mittalji who responded instantly and took the complete initiative to set up the fund. This step comes as a big respite for those children who have a chance to recover from their maladies or injuries but couldn't as their parents weren't able to afford the treatment. The cost is too high and coming from a lower income group they have no means to manage even paltry sums for the treatment. Ironically they do apply to relief funds set up by government for such patients including the Welfare Society Fund running within the hospital the child is being treated at and even the Chief Minister's Discretionary Fund, but they mostly face rejection at all levels.Though Saaksham Foundation, has been trying to get funds as soon as possible for such children it is indeed tough, specially with no consideration being given to children in a medical emergency of under-privileged homes even on humanitarian grounds. This is despite the fact that their BPL (Below Poverty Line) status makes them eligible to get access to all treatment free of cost, yet they don't get it. So now that Kabir Peace Mission has taken on the responsibility it will give a new lease of life to such children. This fund can then be used to provide financial aid to children who really need it. The aim should be to cut down paper work and try and release the money for treatment with 5-6 hours after the application from patient's family is received and reviewed by a panel of experts who can manage the emergency fund."

To accept and consider applications for getting aid from the fund a panel of founder members have also been set by Kabir Mission which includes, Justice SC Verma (retd), RK Mittal (retd IAS) Chief Coordinator , Kabir Peace Mission, Suresh Prasad Rastogi, an industrialist, Meena Agarwal, Software consultant, Rajiv Tuli, educationist, Dr CP Bajpayee, well known heart specialist and MK Abidi, from Nirman Nigam. Well its better than never!

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