(The Houston fundraiser for Save A Mother ends this coming Friday. Bringing this to the front of the page. My sincere thanks to those who have contributed. Your generosity will go a long way in facilitating the work of this deserving organization.)
This is the first time since the inception of this blog that I am initiating an on-site fund raiser for a charity. Occasionally in the past, I have pointed our readers to causes that I believe are worth supporting. But I have always directed them to the respective websites of the organizations. This time however, I am attempting to raise some funds right here by providing a donation link on the blog. (please see the Chip In logo on the left hand side column) As I indicated recently, I am a volunteer for the Houston chapter of Save A Mother, a non-profit organization that benefits poor women in rural India by educating them about pre and post natal maternal health as also, neo-natal child care.
The Houston arm of the charity is having its second annual fund raising event on May 7th, 2010 just prior to Mother's Day. We intend to solicit donations mostly in the real world from friends and family. But we also want to extend our reach into the cyberworld by facilitating on-line donations. Save A Mother already has a donation site where one can contribute any time. My link here is dedicated specifically to the Houston fund raiser. It will stay up only up to the 7th of May. All funds collected will go to the parent organization. I am requesting our readers to please read through the bottom half of this post where I bring forward the relevant information from my introductory post about the charity. If you are convinced of the value of the work done by Save A Mother, please consider donating a small amount. The link is set up to direct all donations directly to the main organization on behalf of the Houston branch. I am attaching an image of the invitation to the May 7th event below.
(Many thanks to Rahul Singhal of Save A Mother, for setting up the necessary widget for the donation link and also for patiently walking me through the process of embedding it on A.B.)
The Indian or Indian American charities that I support are usually small, and their sponsors are often people that friends, family members or I myself know and admire. Recently I became involved with Save A Mother, a foundation that does most of its fundraising in the US to benefit rural outreach programs in India that promote, facilitate and raise awareness of maternal health care. The organization was founded and is spearheaded by Dr. Shiban Ganju, a gastroenterologist in Chicago. Dr. Ganju and I first became acquainted through my frequent comments on 3 Quarks Daily where he is a guest columnist. A few months ago he invited me to join Save A Mother as a volunteer. After a couple of meetings with Dr. Ganju and his sister Veena Kaul who heads the Houston chapter of the charity, during which they educated me about the structure and the operational methods of the foundation, I agreed. I am impressed by the ambitious objectives of the program and the simple solutions it offers for a problem which affects a vast number of poor women in India. Here they are in a nutshell:
India Development Service (IDS) Save-A-Mother project aims to minimize suffering and death associated with pregnancy and child birth. We have been working in partnership with local NGOs in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Many other regions in India and rest of the world are in a similar situation where this program can be replicated.
Every day, over 160 women die in India from pregnancy and complications of child birth.
Save-A-Mother programs educate women about pregnancy, nutrition, immunization, delivery and care of the child. Save-A-Mother has a complementary benefit in saving the child also.
1. Decrease maternal mortality by 50% in Sultanpur in 5 years. (Pilot Project)
2.Replicate this model to two more districts in 2 more years and institutionalise the program.
3. Replicate the program to vulnerable districts where mortality exceeds the national average.
4.Partner with NGOs in other high MMR countries
Most Common Causes of Maternal Mortality
1. Malnutrition and Anemia
2. Lack of immunization
3. Infection and Sepsis
4. Excessive bleeding
5. Difficult labor and other emergencies
1. Iron, vitamin and nutritional supplements
4. Check up during pregnancy
5. Institutional delivery
Mobilization: We motivate villages to form a village council and combine adjoining villages into a cluster.
Training: We train two health activists in each village, who educate the villagers.
Meeting: Weekly meeting at the village level and monthly meeting at the cluster level.
Awareness: Education of mothers-to-be and their families, to help them to seek care
Access to Health Care: Ensure check up three times at the local medical facility
Nutrition & Medicines: Provide information about personal and public health.
Institutional delivery: Ensure access and transportation to a local medical facility
We believe that one preventable death is one too many. We urge you to Save-A-Mother and together we can save a million mothers.
Please take a few minutes to check out the Save a Mother website and decide if you would like to help out. I urge readers to also spread the word around about this worthy effort.