Stretch…Play….Fly High to celebrate World Hemophilia Day
Hemophilia Society, Manipal chapter (MHS) celebrated World Hemophilia Day on 19th April at End Point grounds, Manipal. The event “Stretch…Play….Fly High” was sponsored by Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation and supported by Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MU). The event witnessed the presence of persons with hemophilia (PwH), Indian cricket legend Mr Syed Kirmani, Paralympics medallist and Arjuna award winner Dr Malathi Holla, former chairman of Prasar Bharati Mr M V Kamath, officials of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, and scores of faculty and student volunteers of various institutions of MU and public.
The event began with special kites flown by ‘Team Mangalore’, international kite fliers. As part of the event a mass musical exercise program was conducted with more than 300 students of various institutions. They performed thera-band exercises highlighting the need for regular exercise by PwH to keep them fit in order to prevent episodes of bleeding. The PwH also joined in the exercises.
A formal function followed, where Dr Annamma Kurien, President of Hemophilia Society, welcomed the gathering. The invited dignitaries spoke about the need to create more awareness about haemophilia, how public private partnerships can be forged to address the need of PwH, and how support and courage can help them. A musical CD titled ‘Sa Re Ga Ma 1..2..3..4’ was released by the legendary wicket keeper, which would be distributed to all PwH. These were Thera Band exercises for the PwH which they could do regularly tuned to music. A haemophilia song composed by Dr Kurien was sung by students on the occasion.
Scholarships were awarded to children with haemophilia in different categories. The district surgeon, one of the invitees, spoke about the efforts made by the government to provide factor VIII and IX to PwH. Pro Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Prof H S Ballal thanked the team of MHS for organizing such an event. ‘We shall overcome’ was the message Mr Kamath sent across to the PwH.
The formal function was followed by a cricket match between Manipal XI led by Dr H S Ballal and Hemophilia XI led by Mr Kirmani. Hemophilia XI included children and youth PwH and Manipal XI included various higher officials and others of Manipal Univeristy. An interesting match ensued and remarkable performances by members of both teams were witnessed. The message to the PwH was that, yes, they could also play the game they loved, like everybody else.
Hemophilia XI and Manipal XI team members were given medals by Mr Kirmani in presence of Dr Holla. A team from Sowparnika Creative Art Center, Manipal, undertook live painting during the event which was witnessed and appreciated by all present there. Awareness about haemophilia was also given through poster displays.
Print and electronic media covered the event extensively. A novel way of celebrating World Hemophilia Day thus drew to a close after spreading rays of hope to the persons with haemophilia and creating greater awareness among people at large.
A facebook page was created to reach out to large audiences. Information, event updates and photographs are being posted on to the page. The link for the same ishttps://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.476181159121412&type=1