We are living in much reformed and better India now, which is clear from the evidence where young students like Kanav Dewan, a student of Modern School Barakhamba road, have taken up the charge to spread awareness about much common but less spoken about disease Thalassemia.
Kanav Dewan at his awareness campaign of thalassemia
Thalassemia an incurable, inherited blood disorder is characterized by less oxygen-carrying protein and less red blood cells in the body. Cure for the same depends upon the degree of severity and the kind. This was alarming for Kanav who then started working towards one Project which Is Thallessemia awareness.
As with so many other charitable endeavors, this began after an incident that happened close to home. “When our close family friend’s child got diagnosed with thalassemia, some people were just rushing about to donate blood, and others were making frantic calls to find out what exactly this blood disorder meant. Everyone felt so helpless,” recalls Kanav Dewan, 17. It was then that Dewan, back then in Class 8 and his elder brother in Class 10, decided to spread awareness about this illness.
Given the grim situation and the vulnerability of those inflicted by this ailment, such an initiative is heart-warming. He coordinates with the blood banks in the city to ensure that patients in need continue to get access to blood transfusions on time. He especially visits blood donation camps organized by the Rotary Blood Bank. “It is a great place for outreach as people anyway come here to donate blood. I tell them exactly how their donation can help thalassemia patients and where they can reach for help in case they know of any child inflicted with this disease.”
Dewan also distributed food packets to families of thalassemia patients, in case any of them lost their jobs in the pandemic and could afford to put food on the table. From Tuglakhabad to Noida, he’s been doing the rounds in urban villages here, disseminating information that may be vital. “We work at places where there are less means of other awareness factors.”
There is this very interesting anecdote wherein I was explaining how this disease is most common in communities with consanguineous marriages! Since this was in Haryana where the khap panchayats do not allow weddings within the same set of surnames, they were absolutely thrilled that our generation agreed with their cultural norms! On a lighter note we explained how matching horoscopes was not as important as checking the medical history of the boy and the girl!