While in New Delhi, we interviewed a number of organizations in the area to determine where our money would have the most impact, in addition to working with Jeewan Hospital. We visited a home for the abandoned elderly, a school for low-income autistic children, a government school for the poor, a home for children undergoing chemotherapy, a school for low- income disabled children, and a government hospital. Project AID selected the organizations below as the most impactful:
Amar Jyoti: Amar Jyoti is a school where low-income disabled children receive medical care and therapy in addition to an education. The school ends at 8th grade, and few of its students can afford to continue to high school. Amar Jyoti teaches its students vocational skills, such as sewing, jewelry making, and pottery, so they can provide for their families after graduation. As we toured the school, we noticed many of the children were in ill-fitting wheelchairs. Wheelchairs were broken, too small, too big. Some kids had no wheelchairs and would arrive at school hoping another child was absent so they could borrow their wheelchair. Project AID purchased 5 custom-made wheelchairs and 8 walkers for students at Amar Jyoti (pictured below) at a cost of about $1,100.
Safdarjung Hospital (a government hospital): India technically offers “universal health care” and the government hospitals are “free.” However, a patient must pay for any item placed in the body during surgery, such as a metal rod or plate. These costs can be catastrophic for poor families. Project AID identified Amrita Uppal, a patron who felt a similar calling as us, who runs a nonprofit in Delhi to identify those poorest within Safdarjung Hospital and find sponsors for their surgeries. Through Amrita, we met six patients whose surgeries Project AID sponsored, at a total cost of slightly less than $1,000. Vinna is sixteen years old, fell 13 feet off a ladder, and broke her back; her father is a poor shop keeper and was going to take out a 20% interest loan to try and pay for her surgery. Vijay is a nineteen-year-old orphan who spent all his saved money on school, then was in a car wreck; he had been sitting alone in Safdarjung for three months, unable to pay for surgery yet also unable to walk. Rekha and her sister were riding in a car when another vehicle struck them, killing her sister and leaving Rekha to care for her sister’s five orphaned children. These three patients, along with three others, are Project AID’s first recipients, and all have already undergone successful surgeries.
We are in the process of becoming a tax-deductible organization and have created a website with subscription-based donations. Our website is http://projectaid.org.
Many thanks again to all of those who have donated to our cause or simply shared our story!
- Direct Impact Fund
- Murali Satchithananda
- Barbara Fatkin
Organizer and beneficiary
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