Hrithik Roshan has sponsored the surgical operations of 10 children of the Seven Hills Medical Foundation (SHMF)'s paediatric programme in the Mumbai suburb of Andheri.
Dr Bhujang Pai, Head of Radiology SHMF, says, "We have started a Save A Heart programme as a public initiative. We do lots of free open-heart surgeries. We thought of getting someone who is very fond of kids and who kids are fond of as the face of our programme. I know Hrithik and his family. We are family friends. I asked his parents if we could get him involved in this programme in any way."
Dr Pai continues, "Hrithik not only agreed to be the face of the SHMF scheme for children, but also donated Rs. 15 lakh for the heart operation and post-operative care of 10 children who registered in the scheme."
Says the doc, "Lakhs of children are born in India with heart defects. Because of lack of proper infrastructure and financial assistance, most die before their first birthday. Nearly eight in every thousand children are born with a congenital heart defect. Through this scheme, poor parents won't have to run from pillar to post for their children's medical treatment. We want to reach out to people in a big way and so Hrithik's hoardings will be all over India."
The heart surgery of each baby costs a lakh and a half rupees and Hrithik donated the amount immediately so these operations could take place as soon as possible.
"We have a scheme where if someone pays R 1.5 lakh for the heart surgery of a baby he can adopt the baby. The baby will send him a card on his birthday as he's saved his/her life etc," added the doctor.