Sujata Raikar, born in 1965, has a PG in Computer Application. She has been involved in varied social causes for many years and has worked with a number of foundations. However she always felt something was missing.
Her inclination towards giving back to the society was very firm within her heart. She was never interested in spending time in socialising without a cause, as if she was waiting for right direction..
One fine day she got a call from a friend who told her about a mother who was abandoned by her husband & in-laws and was looking for help for her sick daughter. Sujata went to meet the girl n her mother in ‘Nana Palkar Aashram’ and that event changed her life. After helping the girl, Sujata understood the intensity of Thalassaemia and also the unawareness involved. She had found a cause which the philanthropist in her was always searching for…
She took up the responsibility of the first child for her medicines, education & other support system to survive & sustain, from the family funds. Sooner before she could realise, she got applications from several parents of kids suffering from Thalassaemia. She took up the challenge & started contacting her family & friends for financial support. She firmly believes that, God does your work if you do his! Believing is one thing and realising is another. Realisation came practically since she started getting consistent support & flow of money from wherever she asked for help. It was a necessity then to formalise her efforts since the number of children grew at a faster pace than expected. SAATH (Support & Aid for Thalassaemia Healing) was, hence started by her with the support of her family members.
Hence what accidentally started with personally helping 1 child, has over the last 10 years grown into a family of over 80 kids, their parents and wonderful supporters.
Down to earth Sujata Raikar firmly believes that it is God’s work that she is doing & considers herself fortunate that He has chosen her to do the same. Also, she believes that the donors donate since they want their hard earned money to directly go for the support of the needy. Hence, she and her family have pledged that every rupee of the donor will be spent on the needs of the patients & all other expenses of the trust shall be borne by the family. Today, SAATH supports more than 80 kids.
Approximately 12,000 Thalassaemia Major Infants born every year in India. The work to be done is mammoth one. Sujata spends most of her day from Monday to Saturday for this cause, which involves getting references from the Doctors, checks on the authenticity & actual need of the patients, purchase of medicines & supplies, meeting patients to give them medicines, counselling patients & their parents, collection of funds and working endlessly to spread awareness of Thalassaemia.