Articles

10th Anniversary Event

Does your heart beat for yourself or for others, too? That is the fundamental question which lies at the very heart of Heart Valve Bank (HVB).

On May 6, 2013, an event was held to mark the 10-year anniversary of the establishment of Heart Valve Bank.

The excitement was palpable as previous Grama Seva participants arrived at the venue at 8:30am to begin setting up the hall. Lighting and sound engineers, stage managers and volunteers toiled tirelessly to ensure the event ran without a hitch; whilst in the kitchen, the ladies wing was hard at work preparing dinner for the 900 expected guests.

Outside the main hall, an exhibition area was created to raise awareness of some of the work Heart Valve Bank has sponsored over the last 10 years. Posters and videos showed heart valve replacement operations and outlined, step by step, the procedure. Another part of the exhibition area highlighted medical camps carried out in Africa and India as well as the support provided to the Sri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital in Rajkot, Gujarat.

Although many of the guests were familiar with the work Heart Valve Bank undertakes, very few were familiar with the scale and scope of charitable projects supported over the last 10 years. Ranging from the supply of heart valves themselves to the Super Speciality Hospitals in Puttaparthi and Bangalore, to the funding of operations for those unable to meet the cost of pre- and post-op care, the provision of ambulances and mobile clinics, medical camps, the construction of nursing quarters and the annual Grama Seva. All the guests were in awe of the magnitude of the activities undertaken.

The programme officially began at 2:00pm and comprised talks by surgeons who had not only seen Heart Valve Bank in action but had themselves been instruments of Bhagavan’s will. Dr Anil Kumar Mulpur and Dr Puvanachandra gave insights (as only surgeons can!) into the intricacies of heart valve replacement operations as well as speaking very humbly about the divine force guiding their work. A lively Q&A session allowed guests to ask questions, which were answered in a very frank and humorous manner by Dr Mulpur.

The event was attended my MP’s, Mayors and Councillors and they also addressed the gathering.

Another highlight of the programme was a musical interlude. The talented team of musicians included sister Roopa on the sitar who has had the good fortune to perform for Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Sai Kulwant Hall. She was accompanied by brothers Kaviraj Singh (santoor), Upneet Singh (tabla), Rishii Chowdhury (table) and Akash (tanpura), and together they set the hall alight with their divinely inspired ragas.

Following the musical performance, the guests were treated to a dramatisation of the experiences of one African beneficiary of Sai Baba’s grace through Heart Valve Bank. All were moved not only by the story but also by the dedication and commitment demonstrated by the students and teachers who had put on the performance.

As we all know, divine inspiration behind the work is, of course, our beloved Bhagavan Baba who granted permission for the creation of Heart Valve Bank in 23 November 2002. Since then, under his watchful eye, Heart Valve Bank has been expanding the scope of its activities and the anniversary celebration afforded the opportunity to unveil the next phase of work. In a very moving, heartfelt and thought-provoking talk, Sri Ajit Popat announced that Heart Valve Bank would begin work to alleviate the suffering caused by cancer. Having personally experienced the pain of that disease, Sri Popat spoke passionately and sincerely, and was, no doubt, inspired by Sai Baba whose presence was felt throughout.

The programme concluded with a bhajan medley and the singing of the national anthem by the students of the Sai School of Harrow.

The Trustees of Heart Valve Bank wish to thank all those who have been working behind the scene for months to ensure the success of the event as well as those who attended the event. We hope all felt the divine inspiration to continue the work of Heart Valve Bank and we look forward to marking the 25th anniversary of serving our fellow brothers and sisters, regardless of caste, colour and creed.