BRINGING HOPE TO INDIA's ORPHANS
- Nilima Sabharwal, MD, a pathologist at Kaiser Santa Teresa, recently returned from a month- long social work mission to India. This is not the first time she has visited the country of her birth to see the results of raising thousands of dollars to help destitute children.
HOME OF HOPE - FIRST PROJECT
Dr. Sabharwal founded Home of Hope, a non-profit charitable organization, in May of 1999. She was inspired by the selfless work done by a group of dedicated women volunteers in an orphanage called Children's Home of Hope outside of Chennai,India. "I heard about my friend's mother's friend in India who had started this orphanage in 1974 - it now has 120 children - but she needed funding for essential things." she said. Her first effort was a fundraising dinner in San Ramon in 1998 that raised $ 10,000. "The result was amazing. They were able to build a new bathroom. A bathroom seems simple but what they had was so dilapidated." said Dr. Sabharwal. "A new bathroom has decreased the incidence of gastroenteritis.A bathroom seems simple but what they had was so dilapidated ." said Dr. Sabharwal. " Anew bathroom has decreased the incidence of gastroenteritis.". The money has also helped the orphanage buy a preowned van.
Seeing the results of her efforts first-hand, Dr. Sabharwal held another fundraising dinner in 1999 that raised $ 22,000. "That money helped them build a very nice medical clinic inside the compound,and there was a doctor there willing to donate her services," said Dr. Sabharwal.
Dr. Sabharwal has continued to raise funds and look for new projects for the 120 children at the Home of Hope. In 2000, she also raised $ 10,000 for Udayan Care, a group of foster homes in New Delhi. " There are thirtysix children in three homes whoneeded educational tools. So we decided to raise money to get them six computers with printers."
On the Horizon:
With that project accomplished, Dr. Sabharwal sought out two more projects during her recent trek through India. She is very humble about her efforts, saying, " I truly believe all of funding is due to a higher power and not my efforts alone." Her next fundraising dinner is scheduled for September 14 at the San Ramon Community Center. For more information about Home of Hope, please call Dr. Sabharwal in the Department of Pathology.