“The world has also learned that economic growth, by itself, cannot close the gap between rich and poor.” ― Dalai Lama XIV,
-Thus, God sent angels on earth in various forms and one such being- Dr Swapnil Mane.
There are three things that a beggar and a rich person share every day: the sun, the moon, and the stars. Dr Swapnil Mane aims to provide access to medical aid as the fourth thing.
Every soul is an artist, so am I. ‘Childhood’ I see is like a white canvas. We prefer it to be painted with bright colours. Hate, crime, revenge, death, sorrow, pain, agony, failure, wrong, bad,… are the shades of ‘black’ or ‘greys’ which, as a mother I chose not to pick up while I paint the canvas of ‘childhood experiences’ for my kids. Like any other modern mother from the metros, I too want to bring up my kids in a safe and ‘feel good’ environment. I would tell them only the bright side of the story, take them to places where they can see and feel only joy, happiness, entertainment, smiles, laughter, giggles and only peace. That leaves the other side of life to be experienced by them as a matter of coincidence or a rare planned learning. Am I not painting their white canvas with various colours except black? Although I know the fact that sooner or later they will get to see the various shades of black and grey, but never thought how will they respond to it. Will they be prepared to play with the black and take learning lessons from it as they would with any other colour?
Long time ago, an 8 year boy saw his poor neighbor dying every single day in deep pain and his wife would do nothing but feel helpless. Eventually this little boy came to know that his neighbor was suffering from lung cancer, and just because he did not have Rs. 50, 000, he had to die.
This 8 year old learnt an important lesson of his life- ‘Only money can save a life’. And he decided to change that. He promised his mother that he would cure people without charging them money. So now, the lad was determined to become a Doctor, then a Cancer specialist and fight against cancer. Twenty years later, he grows up to be a Gynaec oncosurgeon. He and his wife have helped thousands of cancer sufferers in 120 villages in Maharashtra , have operated on 1100 patients for free. His vision being-“To Make my Motherland Cancer Free.”
He was offered a secured job with dream CTC. He refused the same and decided to start in a rented premise. This way he began the journey towards contributing to nation’s development in medical and health sector. The Mane Medical Foundation is one of the few medical foundations in India, which has been recognized by the Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO), Department of Science and Technology.
Birth of Mane Medical Foundation: On May 1, 2011, Dr. Swapnil Mane (Cancer Surgeon, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.M.D. (AIM) DNB, FCPS, DGO, DFP, MICOG, MNAM) started the journey towards fulfilling his dream of making cancer treatment affordable and even free if necessary for the needy in India inspired by the inspirational words of SaiBaba – “One can make a living by what we get, but we truly make a LIFE by what we give.” Today, MANE MEDICAL FOUNDATION is among few trusted grass root NGOs of India, working to improve the lives of people in Rural Maharashtra with a mission to ensure HEALTH AND DIGNITY TO THE UNDERPRIVILEGED .
A Humble beginning towards development of health and medical care centre: Dr Mane’s journey as a doctor started from the Tata Memorial Hospital at Mumbai (he completed his DNB from KEM), as a fellow in Gynaecological Oncology. He started his career with a vision to just cure the patients without looking at their financial status. He was pained to see patients who came from villages sleeping on the footpaths of Mumbai just because they did not have money to rent a place in the city till their treatment was done.
That prompted him to start his research and found that his own town, Rahuri, had no tertiary health centre available in and around 100 km. He was shocked to know that the doctor ratio in this area is 1:50,00 (the national average doctor-population ratio is 1:1,700). There was also no Medical Institution or Health Centre that had a diagnostic facility for cervical cancer, in spite of the fact that one in every 100 women in the area was affected by cervical cancer.
For years he carried out his work at a rented place and also faced his share of obstructions. Dr Mane never gave up and soon he converted his opposition doctors as his allies. Carrying all this work in a rented place was difficult and hence, on August 8, 2015 decided to Build, the Dr. Mane Medical Foundation and Research Centre- its own charitable hospital called ‘Saidham’.
They run small health camps ( 88 to be precise) for underprivileged children and women where they intend provide basic health care facility with free medicines for underprivileged Rural persons
Vision of Dr Mane’s Medical foundation: All of us view a society based on Justice, Health , Social sensitivity and a culture of service in which all are self-reliant. Mane Medical Foundation’s focus and sole reason for existence is to work as a catalyst to bring sustainable change in the lives of underprivileged rural, youth and women. ‘Women’ is the medium through which the development takes place.
Mission : At Mane Medical Foundation they commit themselves
• To identify and work alongside the economically and socially deprived, so that they become Healthier
• Enable patients to be self-reliant , aware and enjoy a healthy, dignified and sustainable quality of life
Dr Mane has contributed tremendously towards the upliftment of the poor, needy and most important women. He is supporting many campaigns like ‘Save the Girl’, ‘Cancer free India, ‘BetiBacho BetiPadoa’ and also has carried out free deliveries for girl child.
In 6 years Dr Mane and his dedicated team at SAIDHAM Cancer Hospital, Rahuri has conducted 88 free Cancer detection camps and 116 awareness camps in rural & remote areas with screening of 50,000 patients (CBCC Project) covering 52 villages. Carried out 1100 Surgeries free of cost for poor & needy cancer patients. He has filed 5 patents, 36 Research publications and have 5 scientists working with him. Saidham has adopted two remote village ( Mhaisgaon, Tahrabad) for the community based cervical cancer project and made them free of cervical cancer in 2 years.
‘SAIDHAM’ aims at working day and night to be the leading regional cancer center and rank among the nation’s premier cancer centers by providing world-class research in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer patients in rural India. They also aim to give comprehensive and compassionate care, in a multidisciplinary approach that is responsive to the needs of our poor, needy patients and their families. It aims to preach renowned teaching to ensure exceptional cancer care and research for future generations and spread information as well as provide education to improve the health and welfare of our community. Thus, Saidham aims to become the best hospital for cancer treatment with the latest technology and human skill.
Dr Mane tells us about simple ways to prevent the deadly disease i.e cancer. He suggests doing self breast examination, conducting yearly PAP testing after marriage, cervical vaccination, being aware about cancer , saying no to addictions, getting pregnant at the right age and maintaining good hygiene will keep us healthy and cancer free.
This assignment has touched the deepest corner of my heart. Not only because a beautiful young couple is selflessly dedicated to this massive mission towards NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, but there is this little soul ‘Praneesh’ (Dr Mane’s kid of four years) whom I could see smiling in all the pictures taken at onsite camps. When I asked Dr Mane about how his son feels about the entire experience Dr Mane mentioned that his son loves attending such camps and he would wake up very early whenever he has go. That itself speaks volumes about this little soul in the making. And little Praneesh reminds me about what I mentioned in the beginning. Life is colorful and black is that colour which can shape another Swapnil. So, if we all paint our children’s life canvases with only bright colours we will not be seeing any of Swapnils in the making. So, let us play a little with the greys and blacks to make the complete picture for our kids and raise a responsible next generation.
– By Aarti Mardhekar Kagwade
HR development consultant, a curious mother of two who loves outdoor sports like trekking, jogging and also enjoys painting. Can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.facebook.com/makeinindiastartups