Needy Heart Foundation: Giving gift of life to poor children

The journey for the foundation started from the foundation chairman's own personal journey.

Bengaluru: At a time when heart surgery costs are hitting the roof, the Needy Heart Foundation, an NGO, has been funding surgeries for children from poor socio-economic backgrounds.

The journey for the foundation started from the foundation chairman's own personal journey. “Back in the nineties, I suffered a heart attack. I was then working as the CMD of a big company and money was not an issue. Surprisingly, when the bill came, I felt the pinch," says Mr O.P. Khanna, Chairman, Needy Heart Foundation. "It made me think that if a person who can afford could feel the pinch then the people from lower socio-economic backgrounds would definitely be overburdened by the cost," he said.

Since then, he had been thinking about doing something for the poor suffering from heart diseases. “In 2002, when I was delivering a speech at one the hospitals in the city, I spoke about the same thing. A few hospitals approached me and told me that they would be willing to support me in such a cause," he said. His family too coaxed him to leave the cushy corporate job and to pursue his dream. Since then, his Foundation has helped in over 7,500 surgeries, not just in the city, but also across the state and country. “From eight surgeries a year in 2002 to some 1,100 procedures a year now, the foundation has grown many times. The word has spread, and parents from other countries too have approached us," he said.

“The core mission of the Needy Heart Foundation is to reach out to every human being and to help him/her to undergo treatment by building a multi-stakeholder support system,” he said. It happens by networking with major cardiac hospitals in the city and NGOs and NPOs who help spread the word for donations.


“The Foundation works on three main criteria – the first priority for heart surgeries is children, then the breadwinners of families, irrespective of their age, and lastly others, including senior citizens," Mr Khanna said. “The surgery costs are hugely subsidised for these patients. Some are also funded by individual donors, corporate houses and subsidised by various hospitals," he explained. “Of some 7,500 surgeries we have helped so far, some 5,000 are of children, while the rest belong to other categories," he said.

“It is extremely heartbreaking to see a baby dying for no fault of his because he was born to poor parents. There is no dearth of kind-hearted people around who have the intensive desire to help these children but do not know how to go about it. That is where we come in," he summed up.


  • Counseling and intake of case history from marginalised heart patients
  • Involving as many people as possible who would like to be part of the cause and explore ongoing funding opportunities
  • Negotiating with partner hospitals and working on MoUs to provide state-of-the-art treatment at hugely discounted rates
  • Helping poor patients undergo timely heart operations to let them have a new lease of life
  • Creating awareness through the media and direct intervention at different target communities and beneficiaries
( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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