Sunil Gavaskar’s ‘Bat for Life’ raises funds for over 600 child heart surgeries

400 surgeries were funded by H2H Foundation in short span of six months– including 34 surgeries exclusively funded by Sunil Gavaskar to match the 34 centuries he scored his cricketing career

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New Delhi: Sunil Gavaskar, legendary Indian Cricketer and Chairman, Board of Governors, Heart to Heart Foundation or H2H Foundation, launched his new innings with a triple double century to support over 600 lifesaving heart surgeries for underprivileged children in India.

These life-giving surgeries will be performed by the Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals in India, which recently completed the milestone of performing over 10,000 surgeries since 2012, totally free of cost. Of these, 400 surgeries were funded by H2H Foundation in short span of six months– including 34 surgeries exclusively funded by Sunil Gavaskar to match the 34 centuries he scored his cricketing career.

“It’s has been a great opening innings to the multi-city USA tour to support free heart surgeries for children in India and I am very thankful for the overwhelming participation by many across several cities,” said Mr Gavaskar.

The absence of skilled pediatric care and financial constraints faced by economically challenged families result in over 250 children dying every day in India due to Congenital Heart Defects (CHD). “The Sathya Sai Sanjeevani hospitals in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Haryana have performed over 10,000 surgeries and catheter interventions since 2012, all totally free of cost. Sadly, over 36,000 children are registered and still waiting for treatment. Many will not live long if left untreated,” said Mr. C Sreenivas, Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals.

Mr Vivek N Gour, Trustee, Heart to Heart Foundation said, “Congenital Heart Defects are caused, among other reasons, mainly by malnutrition of the expectant mother. It is a disease of the poor and needy. H2H Foundation is focused on not only sponsoring paediatric cardiac surgeries but also working with Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals to provide nutritional supplements to expectant mothers in select district blocks and thus help prevention of CHD.”

Last month, observing the 73rd Independence Day of India, H2H Foundation had launched “Freedom from CHD” initiative for spreading awareness and participation for free heart surgeries, starting with the multi-city tour titled “Bat-for-Life”. The tour has received an encouraging response across New Jersey; Atalanta; Fermont – California; Milpitas – San Fransisco and the latest gathering in Chicago that took place this week. As his acknowledgments for those who are willing to bat alongside him to give a gift of life to a needy child, Mr Gavaskar signed a bat each.