Business Wire New York
Legendary Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar recently sponsored 34 paediatric 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.
Gavaskar, who is the Chairman of Heart to Heart (H2H) Foundation said that Paediatric cardiac treatment should be within the reach of every child and every parent irrespective of their financial or social status.
The surgeries were performed to achieve ‘Freedom from Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) on the occasion of the 73rd Independence Day of India celebrated on August 15.
Gavaskar was recently on a multicity USA tour titled, ‘Batting-for-Life,’ Involving Heart to Heart Conversation Events and participation in totally free lifesaving heart surgeries for children to achieve ‘Freedom from CHD.’
More than 250 children a day and about 300,000 a year die in India because of lack of sophisticated paediatric care.
The Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Haryana are India’s largest providers of totally free paediatric heart procedures performing nearly 10,000 surgeries and catheter interventions since 2012.
Chairman C Sreenivas said, “The Centres 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.”
These free heart surgeries, screening programmes 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 initiatives and objectives for child healthcare.
Waitlist and Target
Trustee and Director Arvind Thiagarajan said that there are over 36,000 children waiting for a free heart surgery in the next two years.
“We are targeting to support 5000 free heart surgeries this year, increasing each year thereafter. Costs for the surgeries and other programmes 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,” he said.
Battling for Life
During his USA tour, Gavaskar will be signing memorabilia bats for 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 organisation that is dedicated to saving the lives of children born with congenital heart defects (CHDS) by providing free paediatric cardiac surgeries. To learn more or participate please visit www.h2h.foundation.
About Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, often known as Sunny Gavaskar is a former Indian International Cricketer, who played from the early 1970s to late 1980s for the Bombay Cricket team and the Indian National team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Test batsmen and best opening batsmen in Test cricket history, Gavaskar set world records during his career for the most Test runs and most Test centuries scored by any batsman. He held the record of 34 Test centuries for almost two decades before it was broken by Sachin Tendulkar in December 2005. He was the first person to score centuries in both innings of a Test match three times. He was the first Test batsman to score 10,000 Test Runs in a Career and now stands at number 12 on the group of 13 players with 10,000+ Test Runs.
Sunil Gavaskar (Picture from Wiki Commons)