Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

October 2005
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Community Initiative

Putting Patients Back In Action (PRAY Foundation Trust)
By A Staff Writer


A Bangalore NGO provides a healing touch to the sick, denied access to expensive healthcare due to poverty.


Harried, haggard, hopeless, they come here after being defeated in their umpteen attempts to attract a noble heart to their plight. They sit there with the papers recording their misery clung to their chests. Their suppressed sobs and painfully repressed pangs of sufferings just await a kind gesture to unleash the verbal volcano.


It is not a scene from the scores of corporate hospitals that line the swanky avenues in our metropolises. They are in fact the ones that shoo away such sufferers in lieu of clientele with ATM cards in their hands. Victims of the cruel hands of nature as well as the corporatisation of health sector, these helpless folk had no one to turn to in big, beautiful Bangalore until PRAY (Pain Relief And You) opened its portals on them some years ago.


But for PRAY, Sajida Banu, a chronic diabetic, would have been in worse conditions, given her mounting bills in keeping her affliction under check. Ditto for Anita Sharma. A housewife from Davangere, she needed major surgery to remove her brain tumour. PRAY’s timely help came to her rescue by footing her bill. Again it was PRAY that was instrumental in meeting the cost of plugging the hole in the heart of ten-year old Rebecca from the City. Even for Kavitha, 22, monthly dialysis was simply beyond the means of her father, a laundryman. PRAY’s monthly doles to the tune of Rs. 2000 kept her afloat. Chinnaswamy, 50, badly needed angioplasty and his frail economy did not afford it. PRAY help him foot his hefty bill and he is back to the job. Plight of fruit vendor Nawaz Pasha, a footpath hawker, was similar. Renal failure had made him dependant on twice a week dialysis. And the monthly bills were ruining his home. PRAY subsidizes his monthly bill by Rs. 3700.


Privatisation of health system ever since the dawn of globalization, has spelt doom for the poor and the low income people. A dialysis in the family means a family is uprooted economically. Families with girls to marry and an elderly person with heart ailment have to choose between keeping the girl spinster and stitching the ruptured heart back into action. Choices are difficult. A brain surgery means that the boy’s admission into a professional course has to wait. While ravages of lifestyle diseases are wrecking domestic economies, soaring medical costs are keeping the treatment at an arm’s length.


PRAY was outcome of such circumstances when helpless families found no escape from the misery haunting them. With Government abdicating its responsibility of looking after people’s health and corporate hospitals treating the patients like clients, the common man had to mortgage all that he possessed to keep himself alive or choose a death much before his kids were on their feet.


Says PRAY’s secretary, Feroze Abdullah, “a panel of doctors meticulously scrutinizes the medical history of the patient and allocates fund. Even leading hospitals in Bangalore refer cases to PRAY whenever an indigent patient knocks at their door. Help is provided regardless of the caste, community and creed of the individual. Cheques are issued directly to the hospital where the patient is an inmate or being treated”. In one case, a Hindu patient was allocated Rs. 50,000 for a brain surgery at the City’s famed Nimhans Hospital. Leading doctors are routinely invited at the PRAY’s meeting held on every last Saturday of the month in order to provide them a direct exposure to the bleak underside of the society’s underfed, unwashed and sick multitudes. “This has helped doctors to correlate themselves with the social aspects of health economy”, says a leading activist of PRAY.


For innumerable beneficiaries like Baby Stella, Satyanarayan, Devichand, Priscilla Joseph, and Zaitoon Bi, the word PRAY is a source of relief, enough to evoke prayers. And others merely say Amen!


More information can be had from: PRAY, Darus Suroor complex, 43, Dickenson Road, Next to Hasanath College, Bangalore-560043, Ph., 51510786/787/789, Mobile: 9845018080 or Email: reachus@ferozes.com.


Join the noble mission of PRAY Foundation for there are many people in this world who are not as lucky to wake up in the morning and take a walk in the fresh air. They start their day with the struggle for two square meals and end their day worrying about footing the hefty medical bill for their ailments. Your help will make their day!