As diabetes is catching up with even the poor, a southern Indian charity is offering medical support to slum children.
Jnana Sanjeevini Diabetes Center and Samavatam Trust in Bangalore, capital of the state of Karanataka, says it will offer free insulin and other medical support to 100 diabetic children hailing from the poorest of the poor.
The Sarojini Damodaran Charitable Trust, promoted by endocrinologist S.S. Srikanta, has agreed to sponsor the programme and the cost per child is estimated to be around Rs. 10,000 a year with medicines constituting a major part of the cost.
Dr. Srikanta told The Hindu
that applications would be called for shortly. The applicants would have to fulfill the eligibility criteria in terms of their economic status. Although the Jnana Sanjeevini Diabetes Centre is located at Marenahalli in J.P. Nagar, children from the rural areas are welcome to apply.
After an initial round of diagnosis, the children would be given a three month supply of medicines, including insulin. The children may be provided bus fare and accommodation during the visit to Bangalore.
The Samavatam Trust started the programme in 1994 and has extended support of one kind or the other to over 1,500 children over the last 15 years.
Dr. Srikanta said: "Once the children are educated and get into productive life they cease to be a part of the programme. Our aim is to help the diabetic children stand on their feet and gain employment." As elsewhere in the country, in Karnataka too the number of diabetics is on the rise and in the case of children one out of every 300 have the condition. And in the case of children living in slums and in rural areas, fatality rate is high.
"Children die even before diagnosis. The symptoms are not appropriately diagnosed. The goal of this programme is to serve the deprived diabetic children to survive, be healthy, obtain education and grow up, gaining employment and becoming productive members of society," he said.
Through local newspaper reports, parents of children with insulin-dependent diabetes from below the poverty line families are being asked to contact the Jnana Sanjeevini Diabetes Center.