Ten years ago on one Wednesday, 13th June, 2012, Star of Mysore had made an appeal along with Rotary Mysore to our kind and philanthropist readers to contribute their mite to financially help baby H.C. Ganesh, then one-year-eight-month-old, who was born with congenital loss of hearing and as a consequence, he was unable to speak, a child of speech and hearing disability. When his parents, in despair, approached doctors, they opined that the child would be able to speak if his hearing faculty is enabled.
The doctors also advised the child’s parents to go for the only remedy available which is known as Cochlear Implantation with a surgical procedure. When an estimation was taken for the cochlear aid and the surgical procedure and also for the speech and hearing therapies thereafter, the cost came to about Rs. 8 lakh.
Star of Mysore and Rotary Mysore were delighted that by 19th of that month, that is in six days, we were able to collect a little more than what was required from the generous and compassionate readers of Star of Mysore. Child’s parents too raised about Rs. 2 lakh. The excess amount was utilised for the physiotherapy of the child. The parents of the child were poor with only the husband working as a driver of a pick-up van.
As a result of cochlear implantation surgery and therapies, the child soon began to hear and learnt gradually to speak. Later, the child was admitted to the BSS Convent in Nanjangud and he is now studying in 5th standard.
Unfortunately, the cochlear aid had stopped functioning since a month and as a result, now 12-year-old Ganesh is unable to go to school. When his parents approached the doctors for advice and guidance, they were told that upgradation of the cochlear aid is required with Naida CI M90 processor and it would cost Rs. 5,58,600.
Not having so much of money, the parents once again approached me for assistance and guidance. I did not want to make an appeal for help, as in 2012, because it involves lot of managerial work. So the first person, I thought, would help was our MP Mr. Pratap Simha. His Personal Assistant informed me that the State Government would release Rs. 1 lakh in the next 10 days.
While it is a hope, I was advised by my friend to individually approach the philanthropists I know in city. I realised that it might take some time to raise the fund in this manner while Ganesh would remain a school dropout and also disabled.
However, I decided to follow this path to raise the required money. The first person who came to my mind to approach was a well-known philanthropist of our city, Dr. Jagannath Shenoy, who often wishes to be anonymous about what he gives. On June 15, I met him personally and sought his help to help this boy Ganesh. After hearing me very patiently, he said in a soft and gentle voice that he would finance the amount required and I should send him the Bank details.
Let us hope once again, life will come alive to Ganesh, sooner than what I thought it would take and he will be back to the class like other students of the school.
It might interest our readers to know that in just six days, 148 persons responded and an amount of Rs. 5,98,178 was collected. Rotary West gave the highest amount of Rs. 50,000. Mr. Sam Cherian was the President of the Club. Dr. M.N. Harindra, who conducted the cochlear implant procedure, was among those who gave the initial donation. Mr. V. Sreenivasa Prasad, then Nanjangud MLA, also gave a donation of Rs. 5,000.
However, the donation from Dr. S.N. Mothi, MD (Paediatrics) of Kid-Care Clinic, was accompanied by an interesting covering letter offering his free paediatric consultation to Ganesh till age 18 and counselling to the parents. And then a note titled “Angels At Work.” Let me quote him:
“The story of a hearing impaired child Ganesh needing a cochlear implant costing more than Rs. 6 lakh touched many readers and generated a response in the form of financial contributions and prayers. This creates an opportunity for this child to hear the caring whispers of his mother and every sound thereafter.
This happened because there were ‘Angels at Work’ in the form of Mr. K.B. Ganapathy of Star of Mysore, Rtn. Vasudev Bhat and friends.”
Thank you Dr. Mothi. I had preserved your note because you considered me and my friend as ‘Angels at Work.’ Pardon me for my immodesty.
But the work of the Angels did not really finish in 2012.
As I mentioned above, now after 10 years, these ‘Angels at work’ have been called upon to ‘work’ again by the providence. It was then I approached the ‘Guardian Angel’ for help. And help came, as I mentioned, from Dr. Jagannath Shenoy.
A few days later I happened to meet Mr. Sam Cherian, Founder-Chairman of Schevaran Laboratories Pvt.Ltd., at the 49th anniversary function of Kamakshi Hospital and in passing, I mentioned of Dr. Jagannath Shenoy’s donation and about his (Sam) ‘Save a Child’ project in association with Kamakshi Hospital etc. Before I could finish, Sam was telling me, ‘Ganapathy I will give Rs. 50,000 for the child’ even as we both were rushed to the luncheon area. I forgot about his offer. After three days I get a message from Sam on Sunday 3rd July, 2022: “Good morning Sir, please let me know in whose name and where to send Rs. 50,000 cheque for the deaf child.”
Thanks Sam. Believe me, I have experience of reminding donors of their promise but not of a person reminding me in this way!
Well, the real Angels at work are people like Dr. Jagannath Shenoy, Mr. Sam Cherian and Dr. Mothi, who also sent Rs. 10,000, not K.B. Ganapathy and Vasudev Bhat. We are only foot-soldiers of these Angels. In truth, all those who contributed for this cause in 2012, are also Angels. After all, giving is a divine quality. Which is why it is said that if you have enough for yourself then there is more pleasure in giving than in receiving. Mother Teresa said, ‘Give till it hurts’. I can’t agree with her, though it was said to emphasise the importance of compassion in giving. If the giver gives to the extent of hurting himself, he will soon be in trouble himself. But then, giving is also an act of love. And love presupposes two qualities — Service and Sacrifice. On this premise one can agree with Mother Teresa who said give till it hurts — getting stigmatised like Christ ! Amen.
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