There's sweet hope for the diabetic - The New Indian Express

There's sweet hope for the diabetic

Published: 06th November 2013 09:56 AM

Last Updated: 06th November 2013 09:57 AM

Twenty six years, thousands of insulin bottles, 3,000 children and a contented doctor. Disha, a project started by Dr SS Srikanta in 1987 has been the source of ‘oxygen’ to many underprivileged children suffering from type 1 diabetes.   

By word of mouth or reference, these children found their way to the clinic in JP Nagar and thus started their second innings at life. “Without insulin, they couldn’t have survived a day,” says Srikanta.

He adds that for the past two decades, children have been coming to the clinic everyday to get insulin and check-ups. These children are referred to the clinic by other doctors, social organisations or parents of other diabetic children. “This project is basically for children who can’t afford insulin,” he says.

The child is not only given his daily dose of insulin but is counselled along with his parent on how to inject himself at home, how to check his sugar level and how to bring diabetes under control through balanced diets.

“Like oxygen, they need insulin, it is their lifeline. Children who come to the clinic are not only given immediate medical help but are also taught how to take care of themselves at home.

The initial education takes 4 hours and it takes approximately a week for the whole programme,” says Srikanta. Then insulin, syringes and blood glucose strips for three months are given to the child. After three months, the child has to visit the clinic again for his dose and check up.

Where it started

According to Srikanta, it was his teacher, late Prof Manmohan Singh Ahuja, who triggered the thought process. The year was 1987 and Srikanta had just returned from the US.

From the airport in New Delhi he went straight to meet his guru. “Prof Manmohan did not greet me or ask me how my trip was, he just said, ‘bahar kuch gareeb diabetic bache hain, tumhe unki madat karni hai’ (there are some diabetic children outside, you have to help them),” he says. 

And Srikanta never looked back from then on.

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