Thalassemia is a blood disorder where the body produces less than the optimal amount of haemoglobin
The students of Delhi Public School - South (DPS) in Bangalore have helped raise Rs 26 lakh in 45 days for thalassemia patients, making it the country’s biggest student crowd-funded campaign.
The money will fund blood transfusion cost for 1,300 patients
Thalassemia is a blood disorder where the body produces less than the optimal amount of haemoglobin. This inherited disorder requires lifelong blood transfusions.
The campaign supports giving free blood transfusions to those suffering from thalassemia. The cost of each transfusion is Rs 2,000 and each student at DPS raised Rs 20,000 which will help 10 individuals by funding their transfusion costs.
It all started when DPS-South decided to sensitise its students and motivate them to be change-makers in society.
Says Manju Sharma, Principal of DPS South “While other schools have raised money for cataract surgeries and cancer, we wanted to create awareness about Thalassemia in our students and motivate them towards supporting people affected by it.’’ Since the drive was to help children suffering from Thalassemia, she said “When we started talking to them about Thalassemia, many of our students shared that they knew someone suffering from this disorder.’’
Students from Grades 8, 9 and 11 came up with the idea to raise funds through crowdfunding. Around 150 students took up this campaign on FuelADream.com on November 2 and little did they expect that they would be able to raise over Rs 13 lakh in the first six days.
Shreya Adithya, a Grade 8 student raised a substantial amount of Rs 1.22 lakh in six days. Her final contribution was Rs 1,28,375. Shreyasays “I started with Rs 2,000 which my parents gave me. Then I went door-to-door and talked to my neighbours about Thalassemia.” Besides this, Shreya also sent voice messages and links to everybody she knew and to friends of friends.
Like Shreya, other students too reached out to friends, family and neighbours, spoke at the school assembly and school clubs to raise awareness about Thalassemia. The aim of the students was not just to raise funds but to create awareness as well.
Vanshika Sathuri, a Grade 11 student says “More than collecting money, the importance of spreading awareness of the disorder was important to me. On all my birthdays, my parents and I used to give blankets to orphans and poor kids. But this was something different.”
“I started by making a list of people who I needed to call and then spoke to them about Thalassemia. I sent out personalised messages and took appointments with people to talk about Thalassemia,” she added.
Vanshika has collected Rs 52,950.
This initiative is in partnership with Bangalore Medical Services Trust (BMST) established by the Rotary Club of Bangalore and TTK Group of Companies. BMST has been providing blood banking services to patients and hospitals all over Karnataka.
The day-care transfusion facility that caters to Thalassemia patients has been in operation since 1991 and the control and prevention program was started in the year 2010.
Ranganath Thota, founder of Fueladream.com says “This is one of the best performing campaigns we have ever witnessed from students and this just reinforces our belief in how young minds can leverage technology. It’s a collaborative effort that students embarked upon, with some help from parents. We are thrilled with the early outcome of this initiative.”
Dr Latha Jaganathan, Trustee, BMST says, “We received Rs 26 lakh on January 10, 2018. This is being used for about 1,300 blood transfusions in patients suffering from thalassemia. A patient needs a transfusion every 20 days on an average. (The number of transfusions depends on their age, weight and the severity of the medical condition).
Thalassemia is a rare genetic blood disorder that leads to an excessive destruction of red blood cells leading to anemia. This is a condition which cannot be cured but only treated with regular blood transfusions. The cost of these transfusions is Rs 2,000 and each student at DPS had decided to raise Rs 20,000, which will impact 10 individuals by funding their transfusion costs.
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