Jeffrey Sachs captures the angst of a country in trouble but has no effective solution
Narmada Kidney Foundation not only provides information about kidney diseases but also explains how they can be prevented, Shukti Sarma reports
Each year, 0.3-0.4 million people in India develop end-stage kidney disease; only 10% manage to get treatment like dialysis or organ transplant. Apart from the serious medical complexities, the financial and psychological implications are huge for patients, organ donors and their families.
It was to help such patients that Narmada Kidney Foundation (NKF) was set up in 1993. “The patients wanted to know more about required care and medications,” says Dr Prashant Rajput, nephrologist and transplant physician, who works with the organisation. He adds, “Eminent nephrologist Dr Bharat Shah and his friends came together to promote awareness and support the patients and donors. Dr Shah managed its affairs, but his patients were the driving force in setting up this Foundation.”
NKF promotes awareness about kidney diseases and advocates cadaver organ transplant. One can listen to the programmes aired twice a month on AIR FM Rainbow where the doctors are invited to speak. “We believe that if family members want to donate their kidneys voluntarily, things should be made easy. But there are many legal hurdles, and permission often comes after it is too late. The waiting list is huge and patients cannot afford to waste time,” Dr Rajput says.
NKF encourages interaction between patients and donors. Every week, donors and patients meet there—which gives both a psychological boost. Additionally, there are screening and diet workshops and counselling about pre- and post-treatment care. NKF provides medicines and treatments at subsidised rates.
Almost 100 outdoor and indoor patients are treated daily; in a year, 50-60 kidney transplants are performed. Compared to other non-government organisations, NKF had a smooth start. But, as the number of patients went up, the fund crunch started. “We deal with patients from all sections of society. A few are wealthy but the majority earn only about Rs15,000 a month; 15%-20% are from slums,” informs Dr Rajput.
Through NKF, many underprivileged patients get check-ups, operations and medicines at subsidised rates. Some former patients donate, but major part of the funding comes from memberships. Life membership is available for Rs5,000, and annual membership for Rs500. “In many cases, more than one member of a family suffers from kidney diseases. In that case, if one becomes a member, benefits are extended to the relatives too,” says Dr Rajput.
It is difficult to keep up without corporate funding, but doctors at NKF believe that seeing their patients’ walk away smiling is more important. Recently, Dr Rajput performed a transplant, the permission for which was obtained after seven months. “It is an unbelievable story. This person was a bus conductor on a Modasa-Nadiad bus which had a two-and-half-hour-halt at Nadiad. For two and half years, he would come to Nadiad at Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital for dialysis during that break. Dialysis is painful, and one can’t start working immediately after—but he would go back to his duty.”
His wife was willing, but her kidney was non-compatible. His brother-in-law decided to donate a kidney, but the latter’s family was not happy with their son losing a kidney. “So the search started again. Then, a man from Rajasthan came forward, whose mother required a transplant too—but she was in Haryana. Our patient’s wife’s kidney was found compatible with this woman’s—and there was a swap transplant between this conductor and that man, and the donor’s mother and our patient’s wife. He spent almost Rs2.5 lakh as bribe to get permission for the operation,” laughs Dr Rajput.
One can volunteer for NKF’s awareness programmes or sponsor patients. “The best thing to do would be to pledge to donate an organ,” says Dr Rajput. Monetary donations are exempt under section 80(G) of Income Tax Act.
Narmada Kidney Foundation
A-01, Navsanyukta Apartments
AG Link Road
Chakala Andheri (E)
Mumbai 400 093
Tel: 022 2836 8634
The Nifty may go down to the level of 4,460
The market settled lower on lack of consensus among policymakers to push key legislations like the Companies Bill and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill. While infrastructure industries’ growth bounced back in November and weekly inflation for 17th December fell to a six-year low, investors were wary about the weak economic indicators.
The Indian market was the worst performing one among global bourses—down nearly 25% in 2011. The Nifty ended at 4,624 down 1,510 points and the Sensex closed the year at 15,455, down 5,054 points. If the trend of lower low continues and the Nifty is unable to hold itself above the days high, we may see it going down to the level of 4,460.
For the week, the market settled 2% down. Overall, the Sensex lost 284 points and the Nifty fell by 90 points in the week.
The market closed near the day’s high on Monday on supportive global cues. However, the slide began the very next day and continued right to the end of the week. Political developments in Delhi following the tabling of the Lokpal Bill kept the benchmarks down on Tuesday. The market closed lower on Wednesday on weak Asian cues.
Concerns about the slowdown raised fresh worries in the minds of investors and resulted in a negative close on Thursday. The indices, which were firmly in the green till noon on Friday, gave up all gains and fell sharply on a sell-off in blue-chips in the second half.
Among the sectoral indices, BSE TECk gained 2% and BSE IT rose 1% while BSE Oil & Gas tumbled 5% and BSE Bankex dropped 4%.
Bharti Airtel (up 4%), Hero MotoCorp, Infosys (up 3% each) and NTPC (up 1%) were the Sensex toppers in the week. The top losers were Reliance Industries, Jindal Steel & Power (down 7% each), DLF, Maruti Suzuki (down 6% each) and ICICI Bank (down 5%).
The top Nifty stocks were Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel (up 4% each), Hero MotoCorp, Infosys (up 3% each) and SAIL (up 2%). The key losers on the index were Axis Bank (down 8%), Reliance Industries, IDFC, Jindal Steel & Power (down 7%) and Maruti Suzuki (down 6%).
After touching five-year low of 0.3% in October, growth in key infrastructure industries bounced back in November to 6.8%, thus brightening prospects for industrial production for the month. Riding on a stellar growth in cement, electricity and refinery products, the eight infrastructure sectors which have weightage of 38% in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP), considerably improved year-on-year as well from 3.7% in November 2010.
Food inflation fell sharply to a six-year low of 0.42% in the week ended 17th December from 1.81% in the previous week and a high of 15.48% in the corresponding week of 2010. With food inflation declining well below 1%, to the lowest level since April 2006, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the overall inflation would drop to 6% by March end.
On the global front, nearly $6.3 trillion was wiped off from the global markets in 2011 as the Eurozone debt crisis resounded across the world in the latter half of the year. Global stock market capitalisation tumbled 12.1% to $45.7 trillion according to Bloomberg data, while the euro ended the year as the worst performing major currency. The New Year is likely to start on a bleak note as Europe continues to struggle with the crisis.