India is often called the Diabetes capital of the world with almost 100,000 children and adolescents affected by it here. In a country like ours where poverty and illiteracy are rampant, this condition mostly goes undiagnosed or unobserved until its too late. If untreated, diabetes can cause severe damage to the body and may even cause death. Since most affected children in India are poor, they often do not have access to necessary education, treatment and care.
This year, the World Diabetes Day theme is ‘Diabetes and Women’. The aim is to bring to focus the stigmatization and discrimination faced by diabetics, which prevents a vast majority of people from seeking active treatment. Diabetes maybe an incurable condition but it is certainly not an unmanageable one. With the correct management of blood sugar levels with Insulin, regular follow ups, healthy diet and exercise – the patients have a real chance at a ‘normal’ life.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up!”- John Holmes
Nityaasha Foundation has, since its inception, aimed to bestow a healthy life by fulfilling the medical needs of the underprivileged through provision of holistic support. The Foundation has worked tirelessly to provide quality care for type 1 diabetes patients from the underbelly of society, free of cost. Working with almost 183 kids between the age groups of 0-18 years, the Foundation provides free medical consultations along with free insulin and testing material required to check blood sugar. In my association with them, it has been impressive to note that they keep a thorough check and regular follow ups with the patients. They make personalized home visits with a social worker, school visits and annual check-ups which truly highlight their dedication to the cause. They also conduct seminars to teach the parents/ caregivers on how to cook healthy meals for diabetic kids and provide the extremely poor with an innovative Earthen ‘fridge’ to ensure that insulin is stored in a cool temperature. They do not hesitate to travel to the hard-to-access rural areas to reach out to more and more families in need. It is interesting to note that they also try to raise funds for the higher education/ vocational courses for their protégées to establish an independent adult capable of taking charge of his/her life.
This personal touch is what sets Nityaasha apart from everyone else. They are extremely professional in their association with doctors, social workers, schools etc. and extremely personal in their interaction with the patients and their families striking a delicate balance which makes their formula work. I had the pleasure of meeting the Founder and Committee members and what struck me was that they volunteer with more than just money- They volunteer their time and expertise for the cause they believe in.
I and my family are proud to have been associated with this amazing humanitarian foundation, built and sustained by luminaries who genuinely want to effect a change in the world. Our family has always lived by the mantra that we make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give. Today’s children are tomorrow’s future. On this World Diabetes Day 2017, I strongly encourage and urge everyone to take the initiative and join the cause – in whatever capacity; every drop contributes to making an ocean.
By Zoeb & Alisha Hamirani
Paper Chase International – Well-wisher & Donor