In 2000, Shashi came to study at Lakshmi Devi Academy (LDA), KHEL’s school for impoverished children in Dehradun, India. Shashi and his family are well known at KHEL; long term malnutrition and slum conditions continue to affect the health of the children and KHEL has repeatedly offered aid.
Jaideep, Shashi's older brother, was a student at LDA. He contracted a brain infection and KHEL assisted with his medical expenses for several years. Jaideep now works in a barber shop but the brain infection left him with a permanent tremor in his hands; his chances for improving his economic status are slim.
Charu, Shashi’s 18 year old sister, looks after the family especially her two young brothers, Sabir and Safeer, both students at LDA; their mother, Shasha, has severe health problems and is often incapacitated. Charu was a student at LDA; her parents worked with KHEL to keep her in school after she graduated from LDA, but she failed her 10th grade final exams – the pressures of poverty don’t allow for the kind of studying necessary to pass a national exam based on two years of academics.
This is a family struggling to make enough money to get through another day, and still dedicated to educating their kids because they know it’s the only way out of poverty.
In 2001 Shashi’s father, Mahant, a fruit cart vendor, approached KHEL seeking medical help for Shashi. For many months, KHEL paid for Shashi’s medications and then for an angiogram. In 2003, his health deteriorated and he needed an angioplasty operation to survive. KHEL quickly raised Rs.25,000 (about $565).
Now, this charismatic and charming 8th grade boy needs a heart operation. Shashi is so hopeful and optimistic that we can save him; he walks to school every day to be with his friends and study hard so that when he’s well he can continue with his studies and eventually help his family have a better life. He turns pale and gasps for breath when he climbs the stairs at school, but he does it anyway. He recently told KHEL he wants to be a doctor when he grows up.
Raising funds is only the first challenge KHEL, Shashi and his family will face on the long road to making him well. Funding this surgery is the one thing that his optimism and courage can’t overcome – this, we must do for him. KHEL has raised $3,000 from one generous donor. Shashi needs a minimum of $4,500 more to have a chance to grow into a healthy young man with the bright future that he’s working so hard to have.
Please note: All names have been changed in this report to protect the privacy and dignity of aid recipients. The surgery has been recommended by physicians at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medicine in New Delhi, India). Neither Hym-la nor KHEL are responsible for the accuracy of the recommendation nor the results of the proposed surgery. Hym-la's and KHEL's sole interest is to raise money to help Shashi get the surgery recommended so he can life a full life.