Twin girls Ananya and Jahnavi Swamy have been instrumental in starting a drive for scoliosis screening, and helping those in need.
At the ripe age of 17, these twin girls are giving hope to children who are suffering from Scoliosis but are unable to afford treatment due to monetary constraints. They believe that every child needs to get equal opportunity to address the condition.
How often does a 17-year-old delve deeper into their own physical discomfort, address it medically, and then decide to do something for others suffering from the same? These twin sisters found out that they had scoliosis, and underwent surgery to correct this curvature of the spine. Now, studying in the 11th grade at the International School, Ananya and Jahnavi Swamy did not let this setback hinder their passion for swimming and running respectively. They took matters to the hinterlands of the state with a mass screening for other less fortunate children suffering from the same medial condition.
The young and effervescent twins Ananya and Jahnavi met their Spine specialist Dr Thomas Kishen and with his help, worked on a trust fund that today, ensures that less fortunate kids with scoliosis get treatment free of cost or with financial aid.
Ananya recalls being introduced to the Karuna Trust by family friends, where both of them spent their summer vacations doing a pilot project to explore the options of screening in Bengaluru. Today, thanks to this fund, the twins are helping other children detect and cope with scoliosis.
The social side
The girls are regular teenagers, with oodles of tasks on their mind, and seeing the lack of support for children with scoliosis, learning more about the condition through the Scoliosis Foundation started by Dr Kishen, they put their heads together to mobilise funds for the have-nots.
What Ananya and Jahnavi realised was that unlike their case, there were many other children in the society who suffer from this condition, but don't come forward for treatment due to various reasons, most important being lack of monetary funds. This foundation helps less fortunate children in society by providing them monetary funds for corrective surgeries. "Dr Thomas introduced us to this idea of funding surgeries for the underprivileged kids who couldn’t afford such major surgeries," says Ananya who is an avid reader. The twins just came back from a vacation, and can’t wait to get back to their work, which has already started creating a change for the better. They conduct frequent drives to screen scoliosis that enable children to apply for financial assistance, and depending on the extent of their scoliosis, the trust provides the necessary funds for a full–fledged surgery or just a brace to correct it. Ananya pipes in, "Many parents have been overwhelmed with the support that the trust is providing, and we are thrilled were were able to help," she says.
The future is bright
Now, while study will definitely take up most of their time, they want to explore other ways of helping the foundation. "We are going to try and track children who have already been screened but have not come back for treatment. Project – Healthy Spine is another pilot project that is being undertaken with the objective to scan 112 girls each day and we hope we can do our bit."