The group of thalassaemic children at Ardeshir Dalal Memorial Hospital on Thursday. (Bhola Prasad)
Their survival itself is magical and magic is what made them smile on Thursday.
A beautiful bunch of 75 children, associated with city-based Anurag Foundation, enjoyed a show of wizardry and received gifts on World Thalassaemia Day.
The foundation, which runs a daycare centre for thalassaemic children, organised the programme in association with NGO Kalyani. The event was hosted on the premises of Ardeshir Dalal Memorial Hospital in Baridih.
Secretary of the foundation Vijay Singh said they had been working for these ailing children for the past 13 years. He added that on an average, the foundation funded blood transfusion for 100 children in every 20 days.
“This is a programme we organise to educate people about thalassaemia and its prevention. Since the disease is genetic, we feel couples should get blood tests done before marriage,” he said.
The foundation also organised a free serum ferritin level test camp for the 75 children. The test monitors iron level in the blood, which increases due to transfusions and can cause major side effects such as spleen enlargement.
For every child, the foundation spends Rs 25,000 annually to combat the blood disorder. “The foundation organises free check-ups and thalassaemia detection camps at different villages and schools around Jamshedpur. Five to 10 per cent of the people we tested are carriers of the disease,” said Mridula Raje, treasurer of the foundation.
Thalassaemia patient Heena Bisar (19) said she was grateful to the foundation for helping her fight the disease.
“I think I am able to lead a near normal life because of free blood transfusions from Anurag Foundation. The outfit also paid for my spleen surgery a couple of years ago. I have not undergone transfusion for about a year now, but I know if I need one, the foundation will help,” said Bisar, who has been associated with the outfit for seven years.
Thalassaemia causes weakening and destruction of red blood cells, which supply oxygen to the body. There are as many as 500 thalassaemic children in East Singhbhum.