2013, shall be remembered by the development sector as a significant year that marked the beginning of businesses operating for the larger societal good, extending beyond their sole profit agenda. The implementation of the Companies Act in 2013 made it mandatory for companies above a certain size and profitability to contribute a percentage of their profits to social development. Ten years into this initiative, numerous notable changes have been witnessed, ranging from companies and NGOs working together towards a common cause to the identification of genuine issues for support and the recording of measurable impact, thereby facilitating sustainable change at the grassroots level.

Representing my organization and having been a part of the development sector for nearly 15 years, I acknowledge that there are still critical issues that remain unidentified and unexplored. There are several reasons for this, such as lack of information, apprehension about associating with lesser-known causes, initial low return on investment, and the absence of an immediate and “impressive” impact to showcase to others. However, these reasons do not diminish the need, nor the urgency, to support these issues.

I seize this opportunity to address a question commonly posed by the corporate entities we approach for financial support. Why do we need funds? To explain this, I would like to share a case of a patient, Vihaan for whom DATRI has been working over the past one year to find a matching donor. Nine-year-old Vihaan suffers from Thalassemia Major a rare blood disorder. Vihaan was diagnosed as Thalassemia Major when he was five months old and from that time he has been on blood transfusion once in two months. Little Vihaan is a bubbly child with a zest for life. This little boy is from Fatehbad, Haryana and is studying in 4th standard. He wants to grow up to be a dentist. But his aspiration to be a dentist could be nipped in the bud if he does not find the matching Blood Stem Cell Donor.

We need funds to provide hope and a chance for life to patients like Vihaan diagnosed with fatal blood diseases. We require funds to raise awareness about this critical cause, without which a diagnosis would result in death. We need funds to expand the donor base so that, as a country, we can support every Indian diagnosed with a blood disease, offering them a ray of hope through a blood Stem Cell Donor. We need funds to register our fellow countrymen, ensuring that the only possible cure is made available to children and youth who lose their lives to diseases like Thalassemia, Aplastic Anemia, and Sickle Cell Disease. Thalassemia and cancer are curable, and we urge organizations to allocate a portion of their CSR funds to expand the registry base and save lives. We need a committed effort from corporates towards this life-saving cause—every life matters, and every life that can be saved matters even more.


About DATRI:

DATRI Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry, a not-for-profit organisation, has facilitated more than 1160 Blood Stem Cell Donations to date. The journey began in the year 2009 to find unrelated matched donors for patients with leukaemia, Thalassemia or blood disorders whose life is dependent on an unrelated donor to survive. DATRI, India’s largest Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry, has more than 5,11,413 donors registered. DATRI is working towards creating a wide and diverse database of potential Blood Stem Cell Donors that can be accessed by any patient living anywhere in the world in need of a Blood Stem Cell Donation. Any healthy individual between the age of 18 years to 50 years can register as a blood stem cell donor with DATRI and potentially become a lifesaver when they’re found to be a match for a fatal blood disorder patient.



Dr. Hasmukh R Balar

About the Author:

Bindiya Sawhney is passionate about raising funds for social causes. At DATRI, Bindiya leads fundraising and explores corporate partnerships for furthering the cause of saving lives.