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Times of India
18 June 2010
Bangalore, India

Pain ReliefPain Relief
Retired school teachers suffering from arthritis can heave a sigh of relief now. Sparsh Foundation, the charitable wing of Sparsh Hospital, announced Sparsh Guru Namana programme on Thursday, under which around 100 retired teachers will be offered free treatment, including surgery, post–operative care and follow up.

Chairman of Sparsh Hospital and orthopaedic surgeon Sharan S Patil said: “Teachers render dedicated service and lead a disciplined life. But post–retirement, they suffer from ailments like arthritis. Unable to afford the treatment and without insurance coverage, most of them have to bear the crippling disease all through their life. Through Sparsh Guru Namana programme, we want reach out to these ailing retired teachers.”

Team to Hold 100 Surgeries in a Week
The event is scheduled to be held from September 5 to 12. A team of 25 specialists from India, UK and the USA, along with specialists from Sparsh Hospital, will conduct the surgeries. The team plans to conduct 15 to 16 surgeries per day and complete 100 joint replacement surgeries within a week.

“From screening to once the patients are selected, they have to undergo complete medical evaluation, followed by surgery and post–operative care. The treatment offered under the Sparsh Guru Namana programme is free and surgery will be done by experienced specialists,” said Dr Sharan S Patil.

The cost of 100 free surgeries is estimated to be around Rs 1 crore. “We are expecting to raise funds through schools, colleges and through other philanthropists. State education department has also promised support. To create greater awareness about the programme among the teacher community, they will be issuing a circular in all educational institutions,” added, Patil.

Osteoarthritis is one of the biggest problems in India, with more than 16 million people suffering from this crippling condition. As such, there’s a need to create awareness. “These 100 teachers can inspire others and create awareness. So after the surgeries, on World Arthritis Week in October, we’ll organize a walkathon with these 100 recovered teachers,” said, Dr Patil.

For the surgery, retired teachers will be screened from June 25 to 26 at Sparsh Hospital on Hosur Road. Similar screening will be organized at Gulbarga and Dharwad in July.

Who are Eligible
Only teachers can participate in the screening programme. Retired teachers are required to carry ID proof of their service, along with previous medical records. Contact: 9743214890 / 9008475000.

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