‘Helping people is all that matters’, this mantra inspired teenager Rohan Chadha to conceptualise his mission , Shri Sahayataa, at the age of 13. Now, the 16-year-old student from The Shri Ram School, Gurgaon, is on a mission to provide health care essentials (first-aid kits) free of cost to the underprivileged who reside in the underdeveloped villages of Gurgaon and Delhi through his project.
“For them, their only challenge in a day is to feed themselves to survive; health care is only secondary. Hence, I felt that it’s our responsibility as educated and self sufficient individuals to provide them with what they don’t have,” says Chadha. “Through my project, I want to provide the underprivileged people with basic health care facilities in the form of a first-aid kit. If we are able to help even a small percentage of people, the children of these families will grow up in a safer and healthier environment.”
Chadha aims to not only distribute the kits but also to educate the recipients about the importance of proper health care. Sharing an incident that led him to conceptualise the project, he says, “One day, I was doing community service at a village in Gurgaon where I came across an underprivileged girl whose nose was bleeding. And this girl’s family didn’t know how to treat her.” This lack of knowledge pertaining to basic treatments impelled him to start his project.
In December 2016, Chadha along with the volunteers successfully distributed over 100 first-aid kits in two villages in Gurgaon (Sukrali and Ghata) as part of the first cycle of the project. But accomplishing the same wasn’t an easy task, explains Rohan. “Each kit came at a price of about Rs 320 which included the basic first aid requirements — bandages for small, medium and large wounds, an eye pad, a wooden splint, band-aids, Crocin for cough and flu, triangular bandages, a burn sheet and various other medicines. We needed over Rs 40,000 in funds.”
“No one in my age group resonated with my idea initially. It took time for people to come on board. But I stood up to the challenges and that has shaped me today”
In order to raise money for the same, he along with a group of volunteers organised two fund raisers, wherein, during the Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM) days, they explained the concept to the parents through an interactive stall. A fund raiser art exhibition was also organised. “No one in my age group resonated with my idea initially. It took time for people to come on board. But I stood up to the challenges and managed to collect a total of 40 thousand rupees for the cause too. Along with the support of my school, we also partnered with the Rotary Inner Wheel Club, which helped us through the various stages such as short listings the villages. We collaborated with some health care organisations to guide us on the design and assembly of the kits,” he adds.
While it was started as a one-time project initially, Chadha wants to make the drives a regular feature with the aim to distribute over 500 kits by the end of 2017. “We want to give the project a larger scale, and help people on a regular basis. To fulfil this, we are looking for sponsorship for the next cycle. I have spoken to a team of doctors who will soon be agreeing to do free check-ups every three to four months for these people. The issue of improper health care in India needs to be addressed immediately. We need all the support we can get to take this project forward,” says Chadha.
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