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Sishu Sathi: Nine-month-old baby gets new lease of life

Kolkata: Nine-month-old baby Vir Khatik who suffered from congenital heart problem was given a new lease of life by state government's Sishu Sathi project.
The project initiated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gives financial assistance to children coming from economically challenged families up to the age of 12 so that the treatment becomes completely free.
The project has helped few thousand children all over Bengal since 2013. The project comes as a blessing to those poor parents whose children need costly medical treatment, including surgical intervention.
On receiving the applications, the state government conducts an inquiry and money is released immediately so that treatment is not affected due to fund shortage.
Vir had difficulty breathing after his birth. Often he turned blue and almost fainted. When his father, who is a street vendor selling rolls, took him to a paediatrician, he told him that Vir had congenital heart problem and gave some medicines. But his condition deteriorated and he began to lose weight.
Vir was brought to Khusir Diya, an NGO working with the state government on health-related issues. Annendya Shankar Mazumder, managing secretary of Khusir Diya said that the baby was taken to a private hospital where the doctors examined him and prescribed surgery. The estimated cost of the surgery was around Rs 2.5 lakh.
On hearing this from the doctors, Vir's father was
shell-shocked as it was beyond his means to collect Rs 2.5 lakh to do the surgery on his ailing son.
Mazumdar said the NGO got in touch with the Chief Minister and the money was released for the surgery. It was done at a private hospital.
Now, Vir is recuperating fast. The old symptoms that included breathlessness, nausea, loss of weight are a thing of the past.
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