Project India: Hope for South Asians in need of a live saving donor
New York (02/25/07) – Matchpia.org, the largest corporate social responsibility initiative undertaken in India, with its primary focus to promote the importance of educating and recruiting individuals to becoming “lifesaving” bone marrow and stem cell donors, has recently taken its efforts to creating the first operational and robust “unrelated” donor registry in India.
Named “Project India”, this initiative launched into high gear in India this January, in creating the Pune-based (NGO) United South Asian Donor Registry/Matchpia (USADR). Working in partnership with senior leaders in the top corporations like Microsoft, Oracle, Genpact Infosys, Polaris, Larsen & Toubro InfoTech, Manhattan Associates, I-Flex, Lucent and other IT companies in India, over 4,100 donors were recruited in three weeks from six genetic regions of India (Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi and Kolkata), making this the largest humanitarian genetic campaign in India and around the world.
“We are raising the bar of these top international companies to execute and demonstrate their commitment to Social Responsibility,” added Tim Dutta, Executive Director of Matchpia and USADR. The campaign has been well accepted in India, and the roster of companies keeps growing in size, as does the team of volunteers who have joined the campaign to help save the lives of all South Asian cancer patients in need of a genetic donor match.
“For the last three years of our campaign in the US, we observed the notion that if you educate humanity, humanity will rise to the occasion. Indeed that was very relevant and demonstrated through our effort in India,” explained Tim, “It no longer mattered whether you were a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, or Jewish, nor did it matter if you a male or female, everyone came together to save humanity.” Volunteers of this campaign consist of many individuals from all walks of life in India, ranging from graduates from the top universities in India (Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management, Indian School of Business and others), to everyday professionals and homemakers wanting to champion this cause to save lives.
Since coming back to the states, the demand for Project India is growing bigger and bigger everyday. “In looking back in hindsight, I often think about how, I would have never known about the importance of raising the awareness of this cause if it wasn’t for Pia" says Hemant Wadhwani Executive Director of United Community Development Corporation and supporter of the Matchpia campaign. “It’s amazing to see the patient needs that exist in India for people with leukemia and blood related cancers. Everywhere we went, our team was contacted by strangers to help with friends or family members that are suffering from a blood-related disease and in of a the donor match. The need and demand for this type of medical service in India is very evident.”
“Still there is much work ahead to ensure the USADR continues to grow in a manner that conforms to US and international standards. The future of USADR does look very promising and we are all empowered and inspired by all the work that Matchpia has done in the US to help the South Asian community. This ‘Noble’ cause is spreading like wildfire throughout the country, everyone is talking about this ‘buzz’ to save humanity,” said Prayank Swaroop, a product specialist at Adobe Software and project lead for USADR in India.
Matchpia.org was formed to provide South Asian and all ethically diverse communities an equal access to a diversified pool of lifesaving stem cell donor matches, while at the same time increasing donor education, recruitment, retention and patient advocacy. This is achieved by providing various community outreach initiatives, and focusing on the importance of being committed and available we called upon for patients in need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Although this campaign started to help find one woman a match (Pia Awal), it instantly catapulted to saving lives of other South Asian and ethnically diverse (minority), patients that needed lifesaving stem cell transplants.
About United South Asian Donor Registry (USADR):
USADR was formed as a result of the many South Asian patients in search of a life-saving donor match. A spin-off of Matchpia, the registry is the first operation unrelated donor registry in India, providing genetic representation of nine regions of India. With a seasoned leadership team of entrepreneurs and medical professional, USADR will allow all South Asian patients in India and around the world a greater chance at life.
Arti S. Shah, Communications Lead: arti[at]matchpia.org (US)
Tim Dutta, Executive Director: (US)
Prayank Swaroop, Project Lead India: (India)
Phone: (877) 206-8800
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- Arti S Shah
- Communications Lead
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