18th International Thalassemia Day celebration

National Thalassemia Welfare Society (NTWS) Observed 18th International Thalassemia Day on 8th May 2012 with great fervor at Jawahar Lal Auditorium AIIMS 5:30 pm Onwards. The show started with a big bang. It started with Ganesh Vandana by Jhonny Sufi followed by Punjabi-Haryanvi mix song by Lalit Baba & Mr. B., Mimickery by RJ Gaurav and laughter fillers by Mr Gautam Seth.

As soon as our Chief Guest arrived Mrs. Vandana Arora took over the reins of mike to manage the stage. To mark the 18th ITD, NTWS planned to felicitate adult Thalassemic achievers. Hon'ble Chief Minister of Delhi Mrs. Sheila Dikshit was the Chief Guest. During her speech she stressed the need of prevention and said Delhi Govt. in association with NTWS will plan a strategy for prevention and control of Thalassemia. Dr A.K. Walia Hon'ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare who was Guest of Honour highlighted steps taken by his Government for the benefit of Thalassemics. He said we already have separate Thalassemia wards in 5 Delhi Govt. hospitals, now two new Thalassemia units will be started at Sanjay Gandhi hospital & Hedgewar hospital. He said, keeping in mind the need of adult Thalassemics we have decided to start transfusion services all seven days a week i.e. all 365 days a year including all Sundays and holidays. Dr Walia assured the audience that Delhi Govt. is committed to provide safe blood to all who need it. He said we are already doing 4th generation ELISA test, now within 2 - 3 months NAT [nucleic acid testing] facility will be added in all Delhi Govt. hospital blood banks. He said he has also waived of VAT on drugs and equipments used in the treatment of Thalassemia when he was Finance Minister. He echoed the voice of Hon'ble Chief Minister to control the menace of Thalassemia.

Justice Anil Dev Singh retired Chief Justice of Rajasthan high court who was also Guest of Honour stressed that, Thalassemics both major and minor should not face any discrimination in life, be it education, employment or social. He said though the disability act can be amended by the parliament but state Govt. can reserve some seats for thalassemics in education and employment by notification. He requested the Hon'ble Chief Minister to look into it. While welcoming the guests, Dr J.S. Arora, General Secretary of NTWS requested the Hon'ble Health Minister to initiate the Thalassemia registry in Delhi and including Thalassemia in marriage registry. He also requested Dr R.C. Deka, Director AIIMS and Dr Renu Saxena (HoD, Dept. of Hematology AIIMS) to once again allocate a separate ward & free chelating agents for Thalassemics at AIIMS. Dr V.P Choudhry's main thrust was on prevention & control of Thalassemia involving all stake holders including DHS, Govt. hospitals, private hospitals and NGO's. Dr R.C. Deka Director and Dr Renu Saxena HoD Haematology AIIMS appreciated efforts put forward by NTWS in organizing this activity at AIIMS and promised to provide better services to Thalassemics at AIIMS.

Hon'ble Chief Minister felicitated our great achievers who have won the battle in wide ways and achieved great heights defeating the "Thalassemia". Mrs. Swaran Anil invited one by one great warriors elucidating their achievements.

Sukhsohit Singh is first Thalassemia Major to clear Indian Civil Services. He joined the Indian Civil Services under the Ministry of Defence, Government of India as an IdAS [ Indian defence Accounts Services] Group A Officer in Nov. 2011.

Swati Miglani passed from IIT Roorkee, M. Phil. Maths now working as a Lecturer at Aravalli College of Engineering & Management, Faridabad

Dr. Indu Bala a medical doctor by profession recently got married to a medical doctor who is not a Thalassemia carrier.

Mrs Swaran Anil then invited Ms. Jyoti Arora, a young emerging novelist from Ghaziabad. A post graduate in English literature and applied psychology, she has been working as a freelance writer since 2007. All these despite she had to leave the school at 7th standard due to medical complications.

Nishtha Jain a Lawyer enrolled under Bar Council of India, practicing at Tis Hazari Courts, New Delhi.

Tanu Verma pursuing MSc in Journalism Advertising and Mass Communication and working for Thalassemia patients with NTWS.

Nitin Kumar a graduate from Delhi University completed GNIIT course from NIIT Dwarka now working as an office assistant at Upper Yamuna River Board a Government organisation.

Lipika Dureja a science graduate had given her final exam of MSc. Textile & Clothing.

Shivali Arora has done BA Maths Honours, B.Ed and now she is pursuing MSc. Maths.

Mrs. Swaran Anil could not stop her tears while introducing Ms. Sangeeta Bhola to the audience that she had lost her both parents at very young age, and in-spite of this, she manage to look after her treatment herself and also supported other family members by working at BPO. Everyone was touched by her story.

After the felicitation ceremony of the young talented Thalassemics, some of our beautiful Thalassemia Major girls performed a bollywood dance number, a poem on save a girl child was recited by Priya, a Thalassemic from Bhiwani, Haryana. Ayush, 10 yrs old performed a Michael Jackson dance. The complete aura of the function was in a festive mood. The audience, parents, patients doctors & invited guests enjoyed cultural evening to its fullest.

As the cultural show came to an end there was a lucky draw waiting for the adult Thalassemics. Four names were picked up and were given cash prize of Rs. 2500 each.

After the cultural programme all the participants were given return gifts, a traveler's mug with a slogan on Thalassemia. A very delicious mouth licking dinner was served to all by 9 PM.