A Message From our Founding Trustee
On behalf of KJP Charitable Trust (India) and Richard Condorelli Memorial Foundation (USA) , it is my pleasure to inform you all that a world class healthcare facility is being built for the benefit of poor, undeserved tribal people of the Dang district and surrounding areas. I am Dr. Ashok K. Patel and I am the founding trustee of both organizations. I have been practicing general and implant dentistry in Waltham, Massachusetts since 1989 and in Nashua, New Hampshire since 2001. This project is a wonderful way for all of us collectively to give something back to India in general and poor tribal people of Dang in particular.
Dang district is a circular area of less accessible terrain that includes hilly jungles and dense forest wedged between Gujarat and Maharashtra. It has a population of about 4 lakhs including 50,000 school-aged children, with practically no or very limited health care services. We have identified very high incidence of sickle cell anemia, oral cancer, and severe eye related problems. The lack of coordinated healthcare has resulted in a high rate of infant deaths and poor health of pregnant women.
Government establishments in the area are often nonfunctional or provide very limited services. The lack of proper preventive healthcare has tremendous social bearing for this already very poor community. Honorable Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shree Narendra Modiji has taken keen interest in improving conditions of tribal people of Gujarat in general, and Dang in particular, through different schemes. However, there is a lot that needs to be done to develop better healthcare services for these neglected and poor tribal people. I feel it is our personal, moral and professional obligation to be of some help to thousands of these ‘Children of Lesser God’ and many other unfortunate individuals in the region. I believe one of my patients, Mr. Richard Condorelli, understood it well. He had a soft corner in his heart for India in general and Hinduism in particular. cost any government tremendous financial, moral and political burden. KJP Charitable Trust, created to ameliorate some of this burden, was registered with all necessary formalities to carry out the project smoothly.
The seed money for the project was donated by Mr. Condorelli upon his death. He died in April, 2008 from acute kidney failure. I had taken good care of his Dental needs for more than 14 years. He became like a fatherly figure to me and we had several interesting conversations over the period of our acquaintance. He had one prosthetic eye and hearing loss in one ear. Since he didn’t have any immediate family, I had taken care of his funeral and cremation services. His remains were honorably disposed of at Panchvati in Nasik, Maharashtra. It was during the road trip from Surat to Nasik that the serenity and beauty of Dang attracted me to do something for the region’s inhabitants. On our way back from Nasik, a chance meeting with a government officer in Ahwa enlightened me with the urgency of some sort of healthcare system in the area. A few months later when I received a letter from Mr. Condorelli’s attorney informing me that he had left me with about $100,000, the project was conceived.
After a long battle with different local and state officers and with firm encouragement and support from Shree Narendrabhai Modi, an adequate piece of land was purchased from the government to build a permanent healthcare facility with world class amenities—a place where we all can be very comfortable treating patients and serving the community in different ways. Several of my good physician and dentist friends in India provided moral support and guidance during early phase of planning and construction. With my own funds and generous contributions from family members, relatives, personal friends, other patients, and my training programs participants in the USA and India, the construction has been going on at a steady pace. However, a generous contribution from AAPI members will speed up the completion of construction and make the project functional sooner. Any contribution will be Tax Exempt Donation. Richard Condorelli Memorial Foundation is a tax exempt charity under 501(C) 3 with tax ID number 26-2917177.
When completed, the facility will provide complete healthcare through its various establishments, to include:
- A well-equipped Primary Healthcare Center (PHC) for routine physical and screening
- An emergency treatment center
- A well-equipped pathology and microbiology laboratory
- A blood storage facility
- A well-equipped eye care center
- Major and minor operation theatres
- International standard equipments
- A hospital-grade sterilization and isolation facility
- A well-equipped nursing station
- Doctors’ offices
- A well equipped dental clinic
- An oral cancer research center for early detection and management with emphasis on prevention
- Male and female wards
- Consultation and counseling rooms
- Furnished quarters for residential doctors and other staff
- A well-equipped and furnished residential facility (bungalow) for all foreign/NRI doctors
- A hostel for 25 to 30 tribal girls (for training as dental assistants, x-ray technicians, etc.)
- A pharmacy and medical store
- A cafeteria
- A hospital maintenance equipment room
- An ambulance and a mini-bus to bring 25 students to the facility everyday
- A mobile medical van
It is our desire to provide very well coordinated and documented preventive, corrective, and long term healthcare to 50,000 school going children and other needy adults. The task is vast, demanding, and expensive, but sustainable through compensation from various government initiatives and programs for the betterment of the tribal population, as well as private donations from industrialists in India and from healthcare professionals in India and the United States alike.
The project will provide a tremendous opportunity to young, aspiring American students entering the healthcare field to do community work, retiring physicians/dentists to do unlimited amount of research activity, and active physicians and AAPI members to provide their services and expertise when visiting India. Dang is a very scenic region with unparalleled natural beauty. The only hill station of Gujarat is Saputara, which is some 35 kms from the project site and located at the southern tip of Dang.
The project has some philanthropic value as one of the goals is to use the facility to train 25-30 high school graduated tribal girls as Dental Assistants, Nursing Aides, X-ray Technicians, etc. and to find them employment opportunities at both the facility and other locations. There is a severe shortage of well trained auxiliary staff in hospitals, private clinics, and government establishments in deep tribal areas. Our efforts can bridge a gap between providing a talented tribal girl (who has otherwise no future) proper training and helping our healthcare friends/colleagues with a decent well trained auxiliary person. It may help the government reduce the financial burden and uplift the tribal area with renewed prospects of opportunities.
It is with very high hope that I am appealing each and every one of you to give a serious thought to this project. The entire project can be easily funded by few good hearted friends and well wishers from USA and India with tremendous long term international implications. Please help us help thousands of ‘Children of Lesser God’ and other less fortunate. Neglect and happenstance have contributed to the financial handicap of our fellow Indians in Dang. Let us take collective responsibility and establish a World Class Healthcare Facility in the long-suffering tribal area.
Along with all of us at KJP Charitable Trust and Richard Condorelli Memorial Foundation, the new face of the India, Shree Narendrabhai Modiji will be extremely grateful to you all for your generous support for this noble cause. His love for the betterment of the society as whole is quite evident in his speeches. It has been a true pleasure interacting with him and other members of his ministry. Thank you all in advance. Proper documentation, receipt and acknowledgment letter will be mailed to you promptly.