About Us

Begining of Iksha

When Irfan's (one of the kids we support) family faced a dead end in his eye cancer treatment due to lack of money, a good samaritan who was present at the hospital that day responded by helping Irfan's family with financial aid to their great relief. This timely aid saved Irfan's vision and life. This gave us an opportunity to think of the possibilities of several such cases stumbling into want of financial aid and the need to stand for the cause. Thus was born the Iksha Foundation with a dream to support every child who has been afflicted with eye cancer, especially the poor and the under privileged.

We at Iksha believe that no child should ever lose eyesight or face death to this type of childhood cancer that has one of the best cure rates. No family should have to go through the unspeakable pain of losing a child.

 

About Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is a life threatening eye cancer that affects children. The cancer grows from the retina, which is a sensory layer located inside the eye. Retinoblastoma is a silent tumour, most often detected too late to save the eye. In less fortunate children, the tumour affects both their eyes. In early stages of the disease, the eye looks normal externally. As the cancer progresses, it may be observed by the parents as a white mass from within the eye. This is often missed in the Indian population, and the cancer progresses. Eventually, the eye becomes painful, red and swollen. Once the cancer spreads outside the eye, it becomes a threat to life, especially when it spreads to the brain and other parts of the body.

Retinoblastoma Facts:

  • Everyday, four children are born with retinoblastoma in India.
  • 92% of children with retinoblastoma live in developing nations.
  • Retinoblastoma kills over 7,000 youngsters each year, mostly due to late diagnosis.
  • Globally, approximately 1 in 15,000 children is affected by retinoblastoma.
  • In nations with poor healthcare facilities, about 80% of the children affected by retinoblastoma lose their lives.
  • In nations with good healthcare facilities, less than 5% of the children affected by retinoblastoma lose their lives.

 

What We Do

When a child has been diagnosed with Retinoblastoma and is being treated by a hospital where we have a tie-up, the doctors will send us a formal request for support in the agreed format, where they provide details of the child, the diagnosis, treatment needed, cost of treatment and the parents financial situation. Based on the request, members from Iksha meet the child and parents to ascertain more details and get a first person account. The members then take a collective group decision on whether or not Iksha will fund the treatment. If Iksha decides to treat the child, a letter of support is sent to the hospital and we pay the bills as soon as they are raised.

We have not been approached directly by any parents yet, but if there is such a case, our phone, email and address are on the website and they can approach us directly, after which we will do our due diligence and determine the next course of action.

Iksha receives donations from individuals donors who are contacted through the network of Iksha's members. The network has included Iksha Foundation members family, friends, well--wishers and philanthropists who heard about the work Iksha was doing though the internet or word of mouth. Iksha has also raised funds and awareness by participating in fund raising events like World 10K run that takes place in Bangalore each year.

 

The Team

Mr. Thanmaya Bekkalale

Thanmaya strongly believes that each able citizen must have a civic, environmental and social commitment for our country's progress. Iksha Foundation's support to the families with kids who have retinoblastoma and the difference it is making in their lives proves his belief that small actions by individuals can make a positive change in others' life. Thanmaya is a Senior Manager, Product Marketing in the software arm of Accenture. An enthusiastic endurance cyclist, he sports the yellow ribbon in his bid to create awareness about childhood eye cancer and talks to people about Iksha Foundation.

Mr. Aravind Seshadri

Aravind is a Mechanical Engineer born and raised in Bangalore. He got his masters in the US in 2000 and worked in this US till end of 2006. He has been back in Bangalore for the last 8 years and currently is the Application Engineering Manager at Nordson India Pvt. Ltd. He has been involved with Iksha Foundation from inception and finds it very satisfying to spend his free time in helping to educate friends and family about retinoblastoma and the work Iksha has done.

Mr. Rajeev Raju

Rajeev is from an Automobile background, and has been a Bangalorean from childhood. Rajeev is a consultant for automobile manufacturers and presently works as an automotive consultant. He also has worked in the USA for a brief period. He has been involved with Iksha Foundation from inception and likes the idea of devoting his time for Iksha Foundation and is committed to the cause of Iksha Foundation.

 Mrs. Josephine Joseph

Josephine, is an ecology and environmental sciences post-graduate, is a stay-at-home mom who researches and writes on environment, civic and urban government issues for www.citizenmatters.in as a freelance researcher and citizen journalist. Josephine is passionate about encouraging people to stop using plastic bags, she has her own line of stylish, up-cycled grocery bags. Josephine is actively involved in the fund raising, awareness for Iksha Foundation.

Mrs. Ramya Aravind

Ramya has a masters degree in engineer and worked for HP for 6 years and is now a stay at home mom. Ramya has always been passionate about social causes and had started the CRY chapter in Utah State University while she was working on her masters. Ramya is an active fund raiser and stays in touch with the donors and send out quarterly updates to Iksha Foundation’s donors and supporters.

Mrs. Sushma Subramanyam

Sushma is a graphic designer born and raised in Bangalore. She has been associated with Iksha foundation from the time it came to being. Sushma has also volunteered for organisations working for the cause of retinoblastoma in Canada. She spends her free time raising awareness about retinoblastoma.

Mr. Sreekanth Sastry

Sreekanth is an entrepreneur and a technology enthusiast with a keen interest in developing new technology products. Sreekanth has a masters degree and an industry experience of over 15 years. He is trying to work out his life on this philosophy - “What we cannot do must not stop us from doing what we can do”. So, not being able to bring world peace and order does not bother him much as long as he is able to do one good deed a day and is able to motivate others to do the same. At Iksha he works towards making the information about the cause and retinoblastoma be available to a wider audience via the internet.

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