Stories of turning pain of ruthless life into motivation for good work and making a good social impact can be traced in plenty on our TV and silver screens, but do these ‘God Like’ characters exist in real life too? They do as if to prove that still some faith is left in this otherwise cruel world.
N. L. Hariharan refused to give in to the tragedy he stumbled upon in life years ago. He could easily have been lost in his life journey, woebegone and grief-stricken, as losing a child can take the world off one’s feet. But his journey started from that bend in life’s course. And today he has sure come a long way, leaving footprints in the way by doing the most beautiful work ever- saving a life.
5 year old Hemnath, Hariharan’s first child, was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1993 and he succumbed the same year after a year-long battle at Institute Of Child Health and Hospital for Children in Egmore, Chennai. Hariharan was working as an electrical contractor back then.
“We lost our son and the tragedy drove us to think we could do something so that no child meets the same fate. My wife and I started out by giving counselling to children and their parents in various hospitals. We used to spend time with them so that they would not feel despondent. We would cheer them up as much as we could,” says the strong human who, soon, in the following days found himself being joined by many benevolent individuals who were thinking on the same lines.
“Initially there were six volunteers whose help can never be forgotten for taking the journey forward. The volunteers who came from far and wide would spend eight hours with the children.”
Starting out as listening ears, Hariharan and wife Bhanumathy soon envisioned creating a network of volunteers for blood donation. “Very soon we found a lot of friends and acquaintances joining us in on our work. It all happened real fast- initially through word of mouth and soon after on pagers,” recalls Hariharan as he goes back in time when he dreamt of a world that never ceases to help others.
What started as group of individuals finally got a solid foundation as they got registered as a trust by the name Cross Blood foundation in 2004. Apart from the basic counselling to parents and children affected by blood cancer and other Haematological and Oncological problems in Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children and other hospitals and organising recreational activities for them, the organization has been in pursuit of its life-saving mission- Hariharan will ensure donors come to the rescue of children whenever there arises a need of blood.
Besides, the organization also helps with donation of certain drugs required to treat children affected with leukemia and other blood disorders.
The yeoman service rendered does not end there. The organisation has also borne the medical expenses of three children (full medical expense of one child) who had to undergo bone marrow transplantation and both medical and educational expenses of at least three children affected by thalassemia, in the last two years, besides taking care of educational and medical expenses of Andhra Pradesh’s Madhu, who is 24 now, for around 20 years.
Hariharan can be reached at 9176332420...