Be a Force of Change - Save a Mother and Child

CHILD Foundation’s 6th Annual MAYA’S DREAM GALA was held on Friday, September 28, 2018 at Magnolia Banquet Hall, Calgary. Attended by nearly 200 guests, volunteers and supporters of CHILD Foundation, the event included hospital highlights, an Indian dinner, silent auction and an Indian-themed cultural program. The event, hosted by the famous TV celebrity, Nirmala Naidoo, was a huge success and raised about $40,000 for the operation of the hospital.


Dr. Anil Jain, the Executive Director of CHILD Foundation shared his thoughts and highlights of the previous 12 months. His comments are included below.


“Maya Devi Charitable Hospital - Dream of the Community


Thank you Nirmala for the introduction. Good evening friends and colleagues.

It is wonderful to see you all this evening. Thank you for joining us in this great humanitarian cause of providing basic health care services to women and children in rural India. Thank you for supporting us in saving innocent lives - one at a time.

My Wife, Natalija, and our son, Lucas are in the audience. Lucas has attended this event every year and have personally raised over a thousand dollars for the hospital. He is vey proud of the fact that, while I keep growing sideways, he is growing vertically and he is now taller than both Natalija and me.

I want to share with you a story. About six weeks ago, Lucas had a freak bicycle accident in our driveway. He lost balance, bicycle fell, and he fell on top of it. He had no external bleeding but he was in severe pain. We rushed him to Children’s hospital where he received

immediate medical care which was among the best. He was hospitalized for 11 days and now recovering well.

Within hours at the hospital, we learned that he suffered internal injuries. He would go through numerous ultrasounds and even a CT-scan. We are grateful that he is recovering well.

While at Children’s hospital, we learned that many children on Lucas’ floor in the hospital had similar injuries. We had lots of time to think about the hospital in India – the Maya Devi Charitable hospital. What if this type of accident was to happen in the village in India. Before Maya Devi hospital opened in 2011, the child would have been treated by a barber with coloured water and would have almost certainly died of internal injuries.

Fast forward to the period when this hospital opened for service in 2011, the doctors would recognize that the child had internal bleeding. Doctors would stabilise the child by giving IV fluid, pain management drugs, and some antibiotics. After stabilization, the child would be transported to a city hospital for further treatment. This would have increased survival chances dramatically.

Some fifty years ago, a woman named Maya living in this rural community of 50,000 people in India had the audacity to dream- dream about having a hospital which can provide basic health care to women and children, so that countless lives would not be lost. This dream was filled in 2011 when Maya Devi Charitable Hospital opened for service. Since opening its doors, the hospital has logged-in 130,000 patient visits or about 2,000 per month.

Our top three priorities are as follows:

Firstly, continue to provide quality healthcare. As Nirmala mentioned, this means providing medical attention to mothers and children, providing health education, especially regarding prenatal and post-natal health and nutrition, and distributing sanitary napkins.

Secondly, complete the project which is providing clean drinking water to needy households. The project is well advanced and will be finished in 2019.

And lastly, install an x-ray machine. It took a while to secure permission from the Atomic Board of India. But now we have the permission and we have placed an order for the x-ray machine which should be operational by early spring. This will improve diagnostic capability significantly.

You may be wondering what is next step for the hospital:

We are investigating cost-effective means of extending the reach of the hospital to other communities by either using medi-vans or by leveraging technology. In few minutes, I will share a video with you which shows how medi-van can extend the reach of the hospital to surrounding communities. In few minutes, Dr. Bhavini Gohel, who leads the medical advisory committee of CHILD Foundation, will discuss using modern technology and drones to extend the reach.

This hospital is a reality due to strong leadership of many people. Projects such as bio-sand filters for clean drinking water and x-ray machine are capital intensive. I am pleased to advise that local Rotary Clubs, The Rotary Foundation and our own Alberta Government through the Community Initiative Program had been a huge supporter for these projects. In fact, we could not have done these projects without their support. I thank them for their support in saving innocent lives. At this point, may I ask Honourable minister Irfan Sabir, my Rotary colleagues from various clubs and their spouses and friends to please stand up and be acknowledged. Don’t be shy.

Guys thank you for your ongoing support. It is wonderful to see you all.

Also this year’s event is sponsored by our financial sector - Royal Bank, TD Bank and CIBC. We have number of people from banks attending the event. May I ask them to please stand up and be acknowledged.

I would like you to meet the Board members of CHILD Foundation who spend countless hours to make this happen. Could you please stand up? They are all volunteers who are passionate about the cause. I want to acknowledge tremendous contributions of Bob Taylor who is the chair of funds raising committee. Thank you Bob.

This year, we have number of children who are proud that they will be raising funds for their counterparts in India by selling cookies. Please stop by their booth in the back and enjoy some cookies.

Lastly, the event is only possible with your support. You are supporting the cause by attending it, by donating items of gift or services to the cause. Please give yourself a huge round of applause.

In closing, I would like to say that, by joining us this evening and supporting this event, you are among the supporters and leaders of this worthy cause. I shared with you our personal story of Lucas’ injury last month. Imagine how helpless moms in this rural community used to feel just a few years ago before the hospital opened when their children got injured or got ill due

to the use of contaminated water or something else. And imagine how secure they feel now! People in this rural Indian community are grateful to you for taking interest in their lives and making a significant difference for them, their children and their community.

Thank you and enjoy your evening.

Before I leave the stage, I want to share this video with you. Hope you find it informative.”