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Local Heroes: Mumbai Rail Commuters Come Together to Save a 3-Year-Old Girl

Led by 40-year-old Jitendra Vishe from Shahapur, a civil engineer by profession in Navi Mumbai, a group of railway commuters on Thursday morning raised over Rs 30,000 at Asangaon station.

Three-year-old Ishwari Harane has always been bubbly, talkative and carefree like most kids her age. But she cannot attend a school like them.

Not because it’s a choice, but because she has been confined to hospital beds on and off over the last one year.

The little girl suffers from Fanconi Anaemia, a condition that affects the body’s ability to produce any type of blood cells. If not cured, the condition can stop the production of blood completely.

Source: Impact Guru

The only solution to this life-threatening condition is a bone marrow transplant, the cost of which, in addition to stem cell therapy and other treatments, is over Rs. 25 lakh.

Her father, Nitin Vinayak Harane, a humble middle-class man, works as a primary teacher at a school in Thane district. Teaching 25 tribal kids, he earns Rs. 30,000 every month. He is the sole breadwinner to a family of six, whose income doesn’t leave enough to cover the cost of treatment.

Ishwari’s conditions kept worsening over the last one month and so her doctors decided to go ahead with a bone marrow transplant under which healthy bone marrow was harvested from her father’s hip bone and injected into her body a few days ago. The hospital has given Nitin time to deposit the rest of money now.

Seeing at the helpless condition of the man, some good samaritans came together to raise money to save Ishwari. Led by 40-year-old Jitendra Vishe from Shahapur, a civil engineer by profession in Navi Mumbai, a group of railway commuters on Thursday morning raised over Rs 30,000 at Asangaon station, reported the Mumbai Mirror.

Continuing efforts the following morning, they raised another Rs 15,000 at Vasind station.

Jitendra, who is also the general secretary of the Kalyan-Kasara Railway Passengers Association, is contributing to the noble effort with the help of other railway commuters. These include retired 61-year-old Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company employee, Anita Zhope, Kurla school teacher 35-year-old Umesh Vishe and 45-year-old LIC of India, Fort branch employee Shailesh Amrute.

The group came to know of Ishwari and Nitin’s predicament through a WhatsApp group and decided to do something about it. They don’t even travel with Nitin!

Anita drew a detailed day-wise plan where the group is targeting commuters during peak hours at Kasara, Aatgoan, Khardi and Titwala stations. They will be raising money from morning 7 to 10.30 and 6 to 8 in the evening at these stations the coming week.

The group aims to raise at least Rs five lakh to help Nitin.

“We have already told Ishwari’s father that he should stop worrying about money. We will see to it that Ishwari recovers and goes home with him,” Anita told Mumbai Mirror.

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Nitin, who was under debt due to the money he spent on his sister’s marriage and mother’s treatment in the past, somehow raised Rs 9 lakh by borrowing from relatives and friends for Ishwari’s treatment. But he is still in need of 15 lakhs.

Deeply moved by the support of the group of railway commuters, who are working tirelessly for hours at railway stations to raise money for her treatment, he told Mumbai Mirror, “I don’t know even one of them. This has renewed my faith in humanity.”

In his message asking for people to help on a crowdfunding platform, Nitin writes, “All of us are eagerly awaiting her recovery. Once she gets better, I’m sure she would love to want to become a doctor when she grows up. If I fail to pay for this treatment, I fear she’ll never get this chance to find out if she can. My baby has big dreams and I really want to see her live them. Please help me save my only daughter. I can’t imagine my life without my Ishu. Kindly help me save my little baby and take her home safely.”

If you want to help Nitin save his three-year-old daughter Ishwari, spread this message far and wide. If you come across Vishe and his team at railway stations, do donate.

And for those of you, who are not residents of Mumbai, you can still help them. Raise money for Ishwari by donating here.

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