PGCARE FOUNDATION –
Since its inception in 2013, Pediatric and Geriatric Care Foundation, better known by its acronym PG Care, has supported the treatment of over 78 patients in at least four Indian states with funds amounting to 42 lakh rupees. The Evolution of a Crowd-Funded Organization which is a publicly crowd-funded initiative, PG Care comes to the rescue of needy children and geriatric patients. The Foundation also supports the continued long-term care of juvenile diabetics and gives interest-free loans to needy parents when hospital costs for treatment are higher than they anticipated.
PG Care Foundation’s primary activity is social service with the motto of financially funding poor and needy children in society when a major curable illness threatens the life of a child. The NGO’s role comes into play when near and dear ones cannot take care of treatment costs. The Foundation diligently searches for hospitals that also are willing to help patients and forms partnerships. The case, requirements of the patient, and the financial status of the parents is considered thoroughly by a decision-making group of 20 doctors from all specialties who work voluntarily at the Foundation, before the decision to support a case is taken. The carefully deliberated amount is transferred directly to the hospital to enable the child to get free treatment.
To create public awareness and collect the funds, the 190 members of the organization actively conduct fund raising events and approach interested supporters through social media. The charity trust received tax exemption under 80G from January 2016 and tax returns are filed every year. The plan for the future is to address geriatric care in a similar fashion.
Pediatric and Geriatric Care Foundation was started by a group of Karnataka Medical College Hubli doctors who forethought the necessity for such a crowd funding initiative while studying MBBS in the 90s. The seeds of this NGO were sown when a batch of 1990 students volunteered to help aged patients in an aged home under the guidance of Dr Suma Chakravarthy in 1990. The confidence with crowd funding came about when the 1990 batch collected Rs 550 for a poor lady who needed money for an anti D globulin injection when she was pregnant with her first child. The young lady was sent to the boys’ hostel by pranksters when she was begging for funds on the road.
The idea and impetus to start such an organization came in 2016 when a poor three-year old girl, Vani, died due to lack of funds for the treatment of a progressing retinoblastoma. The news of the fund-collection drive appeared in the Deccan Herald news paper and news of the poor girl’s demise due to lack of funds as the tumor progressed in the intervening period also appeared in the publication.
Stories of success
While it was another usual night for others, fate had different plans for 10 year-old Ningaiah,the son of a laborer. The family had migrated to Bangalore a few weeks before from Raichur and the father was still looking for a job. Ningiah was sleeping on the floor along with his parents a venomous snake bit him and he became unconscious with signs of neurotoxicity. The poor but concerned parents immediately took him to the private tertiary care center in Bangalore albeit without hope of his recovery. He was kept in ICU on ventilatory support for five days with less chance of making it. They were in desperate need for financial assistance to continue their son’s life-saving treatment.
Although the hospital had waived majority of the charges, funds were needed to take care of other minimum essentials. PG Care Foundation immediately responded after the hospital contacted them and funds were collected and sent to treat the child. Seven days later Ningaih recovered thanks to the sheer dedication of the doctors at the hospital and the support of the Foundation.
In another incident, a premature girl baby was born to extremely poor Gouramma in the northern town of Sirsi. Since her husband was barely earning an income to make ends meet, they decided not to continue treatment due to lack of funds, even after a private hospital headed by Dr Dinesh Hegde, took care and waived the charges for the first week of intensive care unit stay. When PG Care Foundation was informed by the hospital of the helpless situation of the hospital and the poor parents, urgent financial support was pledged, and services were rendered to the baby who stayed a further two weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit before she was capable of independent survival.
Similarly,Nagappa Mali, a two-year old boy from Ramdurg was suffering from recurrent hypoglycemia, urinary problems and genitalia abnormalities. Since the father had meagre earnings, he couldn’t take the child to clinics that offered treatment the boy required. When this was brought to PG Care’s attention, they coordinated finance along with Dr Rajesh Gunda who was treating pediatrician. The child was referred to Bangalore with PG Care’s support for genetic testing and two surgeries were performed to correct his abnormalities.
Other stories of success through PG Care Foundation are of premature baby of Nandeesh from Bangalore, the heart transplant of 11 year-old Siri from Hassan and eight year old Gunamathi from Madurai for heart surgery.
The Foundation’s founding members include Dr. Shravan Kumar Jyoti (Cayman islands), Dr. Adinarayanan (JIPMER Pondicherry), Dr. Sumana (Fortis Bangalore), Dr.VitthalKrishna (Solapur), Mr. Praveen KR (Mangalore) and Mr. Ashish Gaud (Bangalore) who met in Bangalore to formally launch PG Care in August 2013.
The Foundation today has 190 members who donate funds and time in their own ways.Friends of the organization also manage its Facebook page – PG CARE foundation– to raise awareness and donations from innumerable kind-hearted people towards treatments the Foundation sponsors.
Dr. Shravan Kumar Jyoti (Cayman islands)
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – PG Care Foundation is doing a fantastic job. Founded in 2013 by a group of Karnataka Medical College Hubli doctors, Pediatric Geriatric Care Foundation (PG Care Foundation) is a public crowd-funded initiative that funds the treatment of poor children and the aged in collaboration with hospitals and doctors, who partner with or reach out to the Foundation.