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 in want of financial aid and the need for someone 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.
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.
If parents approach us directly, due diligence is done and we determine the next course of action.
Iksha receives donations from individual donors who are family, friends, well--wishers and philanthropists and Corporates through their CSR.
A little more 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 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.
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.
Tax exemptions for donations
Iksha Foundation has received the 80G approval from the Office of the Director of Income-Tax (Exemptions), Bangalore, on 26/07/2011.
Based on this approval, donations made to Iksha Foundation are deductible under Section 80G(2)(a)(iv) read with section 80G(5)(vi) of the Income-Tax Act 1961 in the hands of the donor.
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 an entreprenuer, having co-founded a software company in 2015, after 19 years in the corporate sector. 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.
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 since 2006 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.
Josephine believes those who can need to look out for those who can't wherever possible to bring about change. An ecology and environmental sciences post-graduate, she is a senior manager at Reap Benefit, an organisation that activates 21st century skills of youth to solve local climate and civic issues. Josephine is also passionate about encouraging people to stop using plastic bags, she has her own line of stylish, up-cycled grocery bags. She is actively involved in fund raising and awareness for Iksha Foundation.
Meet the team
Mother of two beautiful young children. Sushma had a chance to work close to a community in The United kingdom. She was startled to know about Retinoblastoma, having absolutely no clue about the same after moving back to India. The role of Program coordinator at Iksha foundation gave her the opportunity to work closely with many families in need and spread awareness on Retinoblastoma. Watching innocent children suffer hurts but hope of giving them a fair chance to recover and excel in their life gives satisfaction.
Soumya comes with an experience of 8 years as a project coordinator for Retinoblastoma services at a reputed hospital in Bangalore. She was actively involved in creating awareness about this life-threatening eye cancer amongst the healthcare professionals and general public. She lead a team of 10 members, conducted school Camps and executed "Find the blind” project as part of the early detection of vision abnormalities amongst children.
She is happy to be part of Iksha Foundation to render her service and support to create awareness on Retinoblastoma and also closely work with the families affected to provide support, relief and rehabilitation.