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Heart disease is on the rise. One sees more and more people in their thirties and forties getting heart attacks. While this is probably an indicator of the stress modern day life puts us through, heart disease brings with it another load of tensions.
“Most often” says Shrikant Mundada, who started the Hriday Mitra Prathisthan in Pune six years ago, “People have to worry not just about living with heart disease, but how to fund their treatment, which can be very expensive”.
To help people with heart disease, Mundada not only organizes awareness programmes, talks and slide shows by leading cardiologists in Pune, but has taken this ‘Heart’ activism further. On April 19, 2000, at Tilak Smarak Mandir, the Hriday Mitra Prathishthan inaugurated the Bypass Club at the hands of noted theatre and screen personality, Dr. Shriram Lagoo.
The aim of this club is to help heart patients with the finance. Says Mundada, “When a doctor advises a heart patient to undergo a by pass surgery, the problems begin. This surgery is quite expensive and can cost anywhere between Rs 1 to 2 lakhs. Given this, how is a poor man to afford the treatment that could save his life”?
Mundada has found ways and means that could help poor patients raise funds for their surgery. Says he “It is a question of knowing who gives what. For example if a person’s monthly income is below INR 5000, then the Prime Minister’s Fund gives INR 30,000, the Chief Minister’s fund, INR 5,000, Mayor’s fund INR 5000, the Shirdi Saibaba Prathisthan, INR 15,000 and various individual charitable trusts another INR 15,000. This adds up to INR 70,000. If the person is living below the poverty line, then he can avail of another INR 50,000 from the Jeevandai Yojana of the Government of Maharashtra. This would add up to INR 1,20,000”.
Apart from providing this valuable information, the Bypass Club will also help patients fill up the various forms (that can become another job in itself) that procuring such charities require. The Prathisthan has of now collected Rs 11 Lakhs by way of donations for heart patients and plans to collect a corpus of INR 1 crore so as to be able to help more and more heart patients.
Those patients who wish to avail of this valuable service can contact Mundada at:
Hriday Mitra Prathishtan
Manik Prabhu Complex, 3rd floor, 420,
Narayan Peth, Pune 411 030, Maharashtra, India.