Gift of Life India Celebrating 15 years of launching the Gift of Life initiative for saving over 6,000 children since then

Gift of Life India Celebrating 15 years of launching the Gift of Life initiative for saving over 6,000 children since then

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NEW YORK (TIP): A big 
idea was born in 1974 and every big idea has a small beginning. In 1974,
 Rotary District 7250 brought a 5-year old named Grace Agwaru on an 
intercontinental voyage from Uganda to New York. Grace suffered from a 
hole between the two lower chambers of her small but strong heart. On 
November 15, 1974 surgeons at Saint Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York
 successfully operated on little Grace. That is how the Gift of Life was
 born and today it is a worldwide Rotary International Service Program 
responsible for approximately 10,000 heart surgeries for children over 
30 countries. The Gift of Life includes Rotarians from all over the 
world, with independent chapters in countries as far away as Korea and India.

 The sole purpose of the Gift of Life, 
India is to secure lifesaving heart surgery for children in desperate 
need regardless of race, religion, or country of origin. The Gift of 
Life, India is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation with no 
administrative costs. All our team members work voluntarily; all the 
monies are generously donated by caring donors and through the numerous 
matching grants disbursed by the Rotary Foundation.

Like every good idea, it has grown 
exponentially. In 2001, Rotary Past District Governor of District 7250 
Eileen Gentlecore had a simple conversation with a friend of hers and 
relayed the altruistic vision of Gift of Life. Her friend, Past District
 Governor Ravishankar Bhooplapur, with the assistance of Past RI 
Director Sushil Gupta – Trustee of Rotary Foundation, along with Dr. 
Rajan Deshpande and many other devoted Rotarians AC Peter, PDG Rajendra 
Rai, Rtn OP Khanna, DGE Kamlesh Raheja, PDG Sam Movva took up the 
challenge to provide invasive heart surgeries for the children of India.
 Dr. Rajan Deshpande & Mr Ashok Bolar took initial efforts in the 
region similarly Mr. Srinivasan, Mr. OP Khanna, PDG. Rai at Bangalore 
and Coimbatore.  AC Peter and Trustee Sushil Gupta in Delhi made 
significant contributions. Today, PDG Ravishankar Bhooplapur still 
serves as an Honorary Chairman of Gift of Life, India. The power of a 
simple conversation has led to a great achievement.

Dr Prabhakar Kore MP & Chairman of KLE hospitals recipient of Angel Awardee addressing the gathering

In 2002, Ravishankar Bhooplapur 
expressed this idea to Dr. Prabhakar Kore and wished to conduct the 
heart surgeries in KLE Hospital, Belgaum. Since then KLE Hospital has 
completed over 750 surgeries funded by Gift of Life program. Mr. 
Bhooplapur also went on to Coimbatore, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, 
New Delhi and established this program. Children were brought from 
Africa, AfghanistanSri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh
 & many other countries. Along with contributing his own generous 
funds he also manages to collect over $100,000 US dollars in donations 
ever year as well as matching grants from Rotary Foundation.

On 18th November we are celebrating 15 
years of launching the Gift of Life initiative for saving over 6,000 
children since then. As founder and chairman of this program Mr. 
Ravishankar Bhooplapur has taken time to come back to his roots to honor
 those people who have helped to set up and strived to make this program
 a success over the years. The event took place at Dharwad India on 18th
 November followed by Sri Praveen Ghodkhindi Flute concert.

Dr Rajan Deshpande who played key role since inception, addresses

The Angel Award is presented to Dr. 
Prabhakar Kore for his outstanding commitment to this program. And to Dr
 Rajan Deshpande, Ashok Bolar, Rajendra Rai, Sameer Hirani, Rtn Durgesh 
Haritay, Dr Vijay Sadasivam, Mr J. Wilson, and many more for their 
selfless dedication to the Gift of Life. The Gift of Life continues to 
grow and there is no limit to this idea if we remain committed to saving
 children’s lives.


Rotary Club or Jericho Sunrise, Rotary 
Club of Hicksville South & Rotary Club of Lake Success are involved 
past 10 years and every year over $250000 dollar is provided by way of 
matching grants to this project. Rotary Foundation matches equally for 
this grant.  The event received commitment of $150000 dollars from 
various rotary clubs and districts in India.


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