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How the Railway Minister Is Helping 7 Children from Maharashtra Get Free Cardiac Surgeries

The National Rural Health Mission’s Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) team recently identified seven children of Gondia district in Maharashtra as patients of cardiac diseases. The team found that the children needed immediate surgical intervention. But the problem, they realised, was that all these children come from very weak financial backgrounds. Their fathers are daily wage earners and the journey to Mumbai would have been very expensive for them to afford.

However, thanks to social media and authorities who are quick to respond, the problem was solved immediately. Their doctor, Dr. Vishal Gawali, decided to tweet about the situation to the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and received a positive response.

“We recently read about the little girl who wrote to the PM, after which things fell in place for her. Inspired by this success, we tweeted to the railway ministry at 7 pm on June 21, asking for help. To my surprise, the account tweeted back, asking what we were looking for. We apprised them of the situation and within a day, we had a reply — our reservations were done and we were going to Mumbai! It was an amazing experience to find a ministry so approachable,” Dr. Gawali told The Times of India.

Vaishali Yadav, a six-year-old resident of Pune had recently written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking financial help for her cardiac surgery. Vaishali was suffering from a hole in her heart and her father, a painter, would not have been able to afford the surgery. She wrote a letter, attached her school ID with it, and mailed it to the PM. To everyone’s surprise, the Prime Minister’s Office alerted the Pune district administration within a week, prompting them to help the girl. The district authorities  rushed the girl to Ruby Hall Clinic where she was successfully operated on for free, on June 2.

Umrao Maskare, the father of one of these seven patients said that he would never have been able to afford the travel and surgery expenses.

The patients include Simran Maskare (3), Priyansh Patle (3.5), Himanshi Lanjewar (6), Jayshree Mouje (16), Dileshwari Thakre (12), Dileshwari Bisen (12) and Jyoti Watti (16). They are currently being treated at Balaji Hospital in Byculla East. Paediatric cardiac surgeon, Dr. Bhushan Chavan will operate on them.

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