Tanker Foundation in Chennai has a livewire

By G Srinivasan Published on Jul 14, 2017 03:43 PM IST

Chennai: Founded during 1990s, Tanker Foundation at Thirumurthy Street, T Nagar in the city provides free and subsidised treatment to patients with kidney related diseases and is celebrating its silver jubilee.

Very recently, its yet another wing was inaugurated at the Corporation Office near Valluvar Kottam to provide haemo-dialysis treatment to the patients at supported rates.

Acknowledging the support of News Today in their activities, managing trustee Latha Kumaraswami spoke to this reporter about the foundation and more.

What made you to incept such an initiative?

It all started when my mother-in-law suffered from kidney ailment and I realised the difficulties in treating such patients given the heavy cost and time involved. All credit goes to Dr Georgi Abraham who not only treated her well but also encouraged me to start a foundation and serve the needy who cannot afford treatment expenses.

Joining hands with many well-wishers and friends, I started the initiative with a mere Rs.3000 and now it provides subsidised dialysis at various centres in Vellore, Madurai, Coimbatore, Kerala, Puducherry and Manipur apart from the city.

How much do you charge for your patients?

If they come under the government scheme, no charges will be levied and for those without such facilities, a nominal fee of Rs.375 is charged per dialysis. From June 1993, we have conducted around 2,09,000 dialysis covering over 1000 patients. Our centres will serve the less privileged who suffer kidney problems of any kind, reversible or terminal, regardless of caste, sex or religion.

Any other facilities that you provide at the centres?

We have provided Rs.128 lakh to 2758 patients as one-time contributions for transplantation, medication, investigation and fistula surgery costs. As part of creating awareness, we have organised 786 awareness programmes in public places including educational institutions and screened 25,000 people for early detection of kidney diseases.

Few words about Tanker awards which are presented every year..

It is our privilege to honour those medical practitioners who work day and night to bring relief to kidney affected patients, the foundation present awards for research scholars in Nephrology and related services every year.

About foundation’s future plans...

Our aim is to launch a centre of excellence for kidney dialysis and transplantation where continuous research will be carried out. Eminent doctors from across the globe have vouched support in this regard.

She concluded saying "The foundation started on a small note and has grown into a full fledged tree, thanks to support of many well wishers, philanthropists and media. We are also grateful to actor Suriya who is our goodwill ambassador."

Latha Kumaraswami can be reached at 96000 40011.