Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Apr 02nd
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Home Global Activities Asia In India, Tzu Chi Volunteers Help Village Boy Regain His Health

In India, Tzu Chi Volunteers Help Village Boy Regain His Health

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Over a period of 35 days, two Tzu Chi Indian volunteers searched for a boy, arranged for him to receive a physical examination, and then traveled with him for 20 hours to a large hospital -- 1,147 kilometers away -- for surgery. Driven by compassion, they accompanied the 9-year-old boy, Sandeep Kumar, to create a remarkable affinity with his parents.


Compassion Leads the Way

In following footsteps of the Buddha, the team that mounted this project recorded the poverty of Rajgir City in Bihar, eastern India and took an image of Sandeep. Originally, he had a huge belly, and lacked nutrition and education.

His abnormality was noticed by Master Cheng Yen, founder of Tzu Chi, from the footage she saw. She wanted to find and help him to receive proper treatment.

Through the hard work of Simon Shyong, Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi, Tzu Chi volunteer Yufen Qiu in Shanghai, and her friend Abhishek Kumar in India, Tzu Chi found the village and Sandeep, so that the poverty, suffering and lack of children’s education in the village will never be forgotten.

Indian Tzu Chi volunteers Abhishek Kumar and Vivek Kumar were commissioned by Tzu Chi in Hualien, Taiwan. Do not mistake them for biological brothers. They are Tzu Chi brothers. In 2013, Abhishek and Vivek studied Chinese together in New Delhi, capital of India; they met again nine years later because of Tzu Chi -- also a rare good affinity.

Learning that Tzu Chi wanted to take care of the little boy, Abhishek set off at 9:30 on the morning of June 14 from Rajgir City, riding a motorcycle with a scorching temperature of 46 to 48 degrees Celsius. He looked for Sandeep’s village, using information provided by the Tzu Chi Foundation.

At 5 pm, he finally found the banyan tree which looked the same as the one in the footage provided by Tzu Chi. He followed a road next to the tree and entered his seventh village of the day— Badrepool. After asking the villagers, he found the little boy, and immediately called and shared the joy with Tzu Chi in Taiwan.

After spending more than eight hours under the scorching sun to find Sandeep, Abhishek personally witnessed the poverty and sickness of Badrepool. He could not bear but to help those who were suffering.

For his second visit to Sandeep, Abhishek invited Vivek to go with him. Vivek prepared clothes, trousers and stationery for Sandeep. In order to fit his large belly, Vivek brought an oversize T-shirt for him.

Abhishek said: "I can't believe that we can save this little boy together. Later, we thought that we must save this little boy's life. Thus, brother Vivek and I came to help and support this little boy."

The visit of the two volunteers Abhishek and Vivek made Sandeep's parents think very carefully. After the two thoroughly introduced the Tzu Chi Foundation, the whole family was willing to give it a try and help the child to regain his health.

Medical Help

In fact, as early as five years ago, Sandeep saw a doctor in the Patna Government Hospital. His parents considered the cost and risk of surgery, and so delayed treatment. After Abhishek and Vivek obtained the medical records of Sandeep, they contacted Superintendent Chao You-Chen of Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital.

In his professional judgment, Sandeep's over-size belly was not a problem with roundworms and ascites but a pediatric urinary problem. Shei-Dei Yang, Vice Superintendent of Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, is an authority in the Department of Pediatric Urology. After receiving the medical records of Sandeep through superintendent Chao, he immediately contacted a doctor in Gharghoda, India, to jointly evaluate follow-up diagnosis and treatment.

Since then, Abhishek and Vivek have continued to care for Sandeep. On June 23, they took him to a hospital in Gaya County for examinations and provided treatment measures and suggestions to the boy.

From July 18 to 24, they took him and his parents a journey of 20 hours to New Delhi, and arranged for them to stay in a hotel near the hospital, so the boy could receive a fluid drainage treatment. His abdomen had been swollen since he was a little child.

Smile of Relief After Treatment

The one-hour operation was performed by Dr. Sujia in the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi. On the first day, he drained about 7,000 cc of urine from Sandeep’s belly. After that, his abdominal circumference shrunk from 72 cm to 59 cm, and it appeared concave -- the internal organs need time to return to their original shape.

During this period, Superintendent Chao often sent messages of concern. Seeing that Sandeep’s condition was stable, he and his parents could finally show a great smile of relief.

Sandeep's father said joyfully: "Our boy is well after treatment in New Delhi. We are very happy and my heart is full of joy." They are so grateful that Tzu Chi found them and helped their son receive treatment.

Warm Reminder

Master Cheng Yen often reminds Tzu Chi volunteers: “we must seize every opportunity to serve. There are many people suffering in the world.”

How can Tzu Chi relieve their suffering? As Tzu Chi volunteers cannot bear to see people without help, they must bring aid to people in need. There is nothing they can do if they do not see them. Since volunteers see suffering people, they must find and help them.

In India, Abhishek and Vivek have worked together to help Sandeep be saved from his illness. Besides providing medical aid, Tzu Chi also expects to communicate with the local government in the future, starting with education, and to use education to help this poor village have a bright future.

“As we have vowed to serve, we provide aid whenever we see those in need,” said Master Cheng Yen. Everything has a beginning, and one good seed can give rise to countless ones. Hopefully, in the future, Sandeep will grow up healthy, receive a complete education, and help his hometown.

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" The future is an illusion, the past is a memory. Hold on to the goodness that is in our heart at this present moment and take care to fulfill the duties that we have at hand. "
Jing-Si Aphorism