The founders of the Genesis Foundation, Prema Sagar and Jyoti Sagar, are making sure the foundation is true to its name. Dedicated to beginnings, the not-for-profit foundation provides critical medical assistance to children from underprivileged sections of the society and for orphans.
“We are not about vitamin pills. So for us, the test actually is that it has the treatment has to be life changing or life saving. When we set this up, we did not do this say that we can cure thousands of kids. That is not our grand big plan,” says Jyoti Sagar who is one of the trustees of the Foundation.
Today in India over 200,000 kids are born every year with a congenital heart problem. A vast majority of them are in the villages; about 130,000 kids are in the villages where there is no diagnostic facility available.
For these kids, there is no way for the child to figure out what this child is suffering from, which usually tends to be simple things like a hole in the heart. A lot of these kinds actually do not survive.
With strives in several cardiology fields, these are problems that can be fixed very quickly and permanently.
“The child has a hole in the heart, you fix that hole in the heart, and the child will be like any other child and good enough for the rest of their life. There is no one to our knowledge who is actually doing what we do, that is financial assistance and apart from it there is a hand holding for the family,” tells Prema Sagar who has co-founded the Genesis Foundation.
With no hope in the public sector and the government medical sector, the Foundation has taken matters in its own hands with the aim of providing surgical intervention in the case of heart diseases where lives can be saved.
Our goal is to see more number of kids we can help. These are all open heart surgeries and we are supporting centers as far away as Kochi and Chennai.
Raising money is a big challenge.
“What we find, for example, all these CSR for large corporations, everyone seems to be focused on education, education and education, or the girl child or sanitation issues. I am not saying that’s a bad things but no one really cares about saving a life,” says Jyoti.
There is a gap, a vacuum. To actually enthuse someone and say will you help us and fund an open-heart surgery for 200 children from poor families who can’t afford it, it doesn’t seem to ring a bell with a lot of people.
“What we can do is limited to what we can do ourselves. This is an area where children are dying,” says Prema.
(Read more about the how diverse minds can create a difference. In this case, via the Genesis Foundation in the 2017 March Issue of Entrepreneur India)