The Sita Bhateja Specialist Hospital follows a unique philosophy that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. The hospital has a deep-rooted principle of ‘Giving Back’ to society since the time of its inception, by providing compassionate medical care to those who cannot afford it. It was for this purpose that the Sri Jetha Nand Hospital for the Poor, the charitable wing of the hospital, was set up 49 years back.
Upon seeing the difficulties faced by those who couldn’t afford spine surgeries, this charitable service was further expanded upon in 2013 under the expert tutelage of Dr Arvind Bhateja, to include neuro- and spine surgeries too. Traditionally, these surgeries are on the expensive side and unaffordable by the poor in society; but then, they are more often the ones who need them most. Under this initiative by Dr Arvind Bhateja, a renowned neurosurgeon himself, the charitable wing of the hospital has conducted over 130 free spinal surgeries. Most of the patients treated were in the financially backward working age group and were the sole breadwinners of their families.
These free surgeries have been funded through an interesting initiative that revolves around active living. With cycling being a passion for our chief neurosurgeon, Dr Arvind Bhateja, he has created a charity program for raising funds through cycle racing to sponsor free spinal surgeries for the poor. The Giving Back program is an offshoot based on the philosophy of ‘Prevention is better than Cure’, where we have been advising patients and our staff on ways to stay healthy and avoid health complications.
While raising funds for the Giving Back charity program under the aegis of Spectrum Racing, Dr Arvind Bhateja has also been participating in a number of cycle racing events at a professional level that requires time-intensive rigorous training. However, due to his busy work schedule, he is unable to participate in all the cycling events and other cycling enthusiasts have been intermittently given the honor of carrying forth the flag for this charitable program. The Giving Back program has been medical partners with sports events like BBCh (Bangalore Bicycle Championship) and Tour of Nilgiris (TFN) for many years now.
The year 2019 is seeing professional cycler Dipankar Paul take up the gauntlet of arduous multi-day cycling 950km tour through the Nilgiris mountain ranges for Dr Arvind Bhateja’s Free Spine Surgery for the Needy – Giving Back program. He is a highly-experienced cycler who has tested his physical and mental stamina by participating in numerous local and international races and triathlons. He has also completed the grueling Ironman Triathlon which includes a 3.86km swim, a 180.25km bicycle ride and finally a 42.20km marathon run, all to be completed within a time limit of 16-17 hours in a single day. This is considered one of the toughest single-day sporting events in the world and one which Dipankar has successfully conquered. Interestingly, he has now quit his lucrative software engineering career to become a full-time certified Ironman coach.
Though Dipankar has already participated in 2 TFNs (in 2012 and 2014) earlier, his third attempt this December has more weight behind it as he attempts to raise 5 lakh rupees for Dr Arvind Bhateja’s Giving Back charity. It was his experience at the Sita Bhateja Specialty Hospital where Dipankar went for treatment of accidental head injuries that he first realized the importance of head and spine surgeries. When he learnt about the charitable services for those who couldn’t afford the same expensive treatments, he was inspired to contribute towards this cause by raising awareness through what he did best – cycling.
Aside from avid cycler Dr Arvind Bhateja (2010, 2011, 2015, 2016), other cyclers who have ridden this grueling cycling tour as Giving Back charity riders are Gautam Raja (2013), Vivek Bhateja (2014, 2015), Shankar Jayaraman (2017) and Narasimha Murthy (2018).
If you are inspired by this initiative to help provide spinal surgeries for those who need it most – the poor and marginalized members of society, then you too can make donations as every single bit counts! Please click on the following link below to fulfill this noble cause:Leave a reply