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Home >> NPOs >> FSSG - Fresh Start Surgical Gifts
It is my privilege to interact with you. "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" is a Charitable Organization, working with the philosophy of bringing under-privileged, physically deformed children to the best of the Surgical set up and provide them State of the Art services through charities. The Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, is a registered Charity Organization under the Public Trust Act 1950 with the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai, Govt. of Maharashtra, and also enjoys 80G Exemption vide order No. 928 / 2002 (Up to 2006).
The "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" has been attracting more doctors and volunteers from different parts of the Country and Abroad, who are extending their services free of charges. Nurses, Medical assistants and Social Volunteers from different walks of life also help these activities of "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts".

On behalf of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, I would solicit your contribution in any form / value to sponsor part or full surgery for these children. Till date "Fresh Start Surgical gifts" has been able to give a fresh start to about 500 patients. Now Fresh Start holds regular free operative session at Amravati, Akola, Alibaug, Bhavnagar, Mumbai and Ludhiana.

In order to reach out to economically under privileged section of the society, more funds are needed and in order to reach our target, we are organizing a charity show of the famous English play 'I am not Bajirao'. We are expecting an audience of about 800 people. Please patronize the play and extend your support by the sponsoring the event.

I am soliciting your blessing and am looking forward to you being the Main Sponsor of the above mentioned event. I am sure that you will extend a helping hand and enable us to serve the society.

Please find enclosed the details of the sponsorship for the above event.

India, the 2nd largest populated Country of the World, has a large population which suffers from congenital defects, deformities caused by accidents, disease, burn injuries etc. Unfortunately most of these people belong to the economically and socially deprived class, which cannot afford expensive medical facilities. A number of NGO's including "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" India Chapter and a few Medical Professionals like Dr. Ashok Gupta, have taken initiatives in this direction and have been undertaking various welfare projects in different part of the Country.

For Dr. Ashok Gupta, it started about 20 years ago. On his return from the United Kingdom after successfully completing the Higher Specialized Training in Reconstructive Microsurgery at few of the best known Centres of Learning, Dr. Ashok Gupta wanted very much to give back the advantage of his recently acquired skill and knowledge to under-privileged people in the remote / tribal belt of Maharashtra. During his tenure as Trainee and thereafter as Teacher at Government run Medical College at Nagpur and Mumbai, Dr. Ashok Gupta came across a number of physicians / patients who required reconstructive surgery, but were suffering due to lack of money and medical facilities.

As seen at some hospitals in United Kingdom, Surgeons very often travelled to peripheral hospitals to conduct operations for local people, thus taking medical help to their doorsteps. As it is, Dr. Gupta was eager to help the underprivileged, this gave him the courage to materialise his dream of social service. Thus, Dr. Ashok Gupta began conducting free reconstructive surgery sessions in the remote areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra for the underprivileged. Dr. Ashok Gupta also felt that he owed certain obligations to people of these States wherein, he had undertaken all his education and training from pre-primary schooling onwards to the Post-doctoral Degree in Medicine. There is a large tribal population in these States, which still are lagging behind in the society. People here are very poor, it is difficult for them to make both ends meet. Thus, even thinking of approaching a Specialist Doctor for reconstructive surgery is beyond their means and imagination.

Despite many odds, Dr. Gupta continued to help the poor people by undertaking free reconstructive surgery sessions at local hospitals in Padher, Betul, Itarsi, Jhansi, Durg (Madhya Pradesh) Amaravati, Akola,Badnera, Gondia, Jalna, Srirampur, Tumsar, Warora (Maharashtra) and Sumerpur(Rajasthan) as well at his private Clinic / Hospital at Bombay. Although Dr.Gupta was working very hard to alleviate suffering of these under-privileged, he was doing it single handed on a relatively small scale.

Coincidently, during his one of the visits to United States of America, he met Dr. Dennis Nigro, a Plastic surgeon and Dr. Sheryl Perry at California, U.S.A. Both Dr. Nigro and Dr. Perry had also similar experience, approach and philosophy. They had started a Non-profit Organization in 1990 called "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts", whose aim is to extend benefits of reconstructive surgery to underprivileged children.

This concept was not new to Dr. Gupta, as he was already operating upon children and adults free of charge in India over last two decades. On his return from USA and after obtaining necessary preliminary permissions from the Competent Authorities, Dr. Gupta along with some like minded philanthropist people like Mr. Shyam Singhania and Dr. B. L. Tekriwal, formed a Charitable Trust "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" chapter in India in Oct. 2000. The said "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" chapter in India is duly registered with the Charity Commissioner, Govt. of Maharashtra as vide Registration No. E / 19257 (BOM) dated 16th March 2001 and Permanent Income Tax Account No. AAATF 0575 - D on 22nd March 2001.

Simultaneously, Application for registration with the Commissioner, Income - Tax Dept. and Exemption for Income Tax under section 80 - G was submitted on 13th October and was granted on 30th April 2001 vide Registration No. TR 35658 Application and on 21st June 2001 vide Exemption Certificate No. DIT(E)/MC/80 - G/ 2458 / 2001 respectively.

Introduction of the concept of "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" in India was made with the first visit of Dr. Sheryl Perry. A wide coverage at the Bombay Press, conducting joint Indo-American Surgical Sessions at Bombay and Amaravati, attendance and personal presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India, Press Conference at Mumbai and New Delhi, Visit to Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana and personal interactions with a large number of Philanthropists, Social Workers, Medical Doctors, Bankers etc, to appraise them of various potentials and possible activities in India.

She also made inspections of various medical and surgical facilities at the possible Fresh Start Host Hospitals. Based on her experience and the report and coinciding with the next visit by Dr. Sheryl Perry, Chairman Medical Board and Mr. Martin Davis, Executive Director of the said "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" USA, a chapter in India, was thereafter incorporated with the "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" of U.S.A. in January 2001. Incidentally, this was the First International Chapter of the "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts", incorporated outside the U.S.A.

In order to reach and to co-ordinate specialised surgeries for the patients in remote areas, operative sessions are organised at regular intervals on various parts of the country. Prior to any operative session a team of local doctors identify and select genuine cases that need surgery. Relatively simple surgeries are undertaken at the local 'Fresh Start Host Hospital' and for major specialised surgeries patients are either brought to advanced 'Fresh Start Flagship Hospital' at Bombay or are sent to 'Fresh Start select Hospitals' of excellence at USA or other Countries. "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" provides the necessary pre surgery assessment, surgeries and post operative follow up examinations. Patients only from economically / socially under-privileged class are being operated upon in these operative sessions are. Various kinds of surgeries are performed by "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" professional team including ear deformities, webbed fingers, cleft lip, cleft palate major birth defects, craniofacial anomalies, and microsurgical reconstruction and burn injuries.

Number of patients suffering and attending to these operative sessions is so high that it is difficult to attend to all of them at the same time. To solve this problem Fresh Start categorises the patients in to the following:

Pre-school(Below 5 years)
School going
The problems are divided into:
1. Acquired (burns, accidents, etc.)
2. Congenital (since birth)
3. Interfering with day to day life
4. Not interfering with day to day life

Priority is given to children and to the problems interfering with day-to-day life. While doctors help these patients to solve their medical problems, the social workers help them cope with social and psychological problems.

Most of these patients are daily wage earners, who earn anything between Rs. 30 to Rs. 50 a day (around 1.00 US $). With this meagre income the whole family is taken care of. On an average, the expenditure for surgery for a case of cleft lip is about Rs.15,000/- (350 US $) and for burn injuries between Rs.35,000/- to 60,000 (800 to 1500 US $),depending upon the injury.
This amount is beyond their reach. Indifference towards their sufferings on the part of the society and the social ostracism due to deformities has forced them to suffer in isolation. Some of them are so helpless and are in such miserable condition that before reaching Fresh Start, they had attempted suicide.

When the earthquake in Gujarat on 26th Jan 2001 shook the whole World, Dr. Ashok Gupta decided to help the victims and under the banner of "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" operated upon the victims free of charge.
Till date "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" has been able to give a fresh start to about 350 patients. Now Fresh Start holds regular free operative session at Amravati, Akola, Mumbai and Ludhiana. In Bombay it is a regular feature in Dr. Gupta's private clinic, where patients are examined and are operated free of charge on every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" India Chapter is now planning to start operative sessions at Rajasthan and Gujarat as well at the Republic of Yemen, Bangla Desh and Sri Lanka with the help of "Fresh Start Host Hospitals".

Since "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" India chapter had started working at a larger scale, more and more doctors and volunteers started joining hands with Dr. Gupta from different parts of the country. Doctors from Bombay, Amravati, Ludhiana, Gwalior, Akola and also U.S.A. joined his team of Fresh Start Volunteers. Many Nurses, Medical assistants and social Volunteers from
different walks of life / professions started extending help to the activities of "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts". Today the "Fresh Start Surgical Gifts" team consists of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgeons, General Surgeons, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Uro-surgeons, Neuro Surgeons, Anaesthesiologists, Nurses and a score of Health \ Paramedical \ Social Volunteers. A number of Volunteers were invited to join the organization and a few were given certain office responsibilities as below:

Aim - F. S. S. G. is a voluntary organization, which aims to reach out tothe economically weaker section of the society & provide them with the facilities of modern reconstructive surgery. This includes primarily children & other's who suffer from deformities caused by birth defects,injuries accidents & burn injuries. F. S. S. G. aims to raise funds for supporting the activities by organizing charity shows. The proceeds from these shows would be directed for the operative sessions organized in different states of India.

The Team Work - The India chapter of F. S. S. G. is led & guided by Dr. Ashok Gupta. The Team of doctors who offer their voluntary services to F. S. S. G. consists of Plastic surgeons, Orthopedic surgeons Neurologists, Pediatricians there are other volunteers from different professions such as Nurses, Teachers, Students, Models, Artists etc.

Resources - Raising funds is a difficult task since we are registered under the Bombay Trust Act 1950. We do accepts donations. Besides, there are Industrialists & Businessmen who either adopt individual surgeries or adopt the entire operative session (lasting for 2-3 days).

We certainly need more funds to continue, the society selflessly or with this aim of serving the economically under privileged section of our society.

People Benefited - Each operative session of F. S. S. G. brings smile in the life of at a least 30-40 people. While working F. S. S. G. emphases more on quality than on quantity. There is a system of pre & post operation examination & follow up. Before each surgery all the tests are conducted to ensure safety of the lives of the patients & after the surgery proper care is taken by the local doctors.

Finance Required - Each surgery with complications like Cleft Lip / Palate costs about Rs. 10-15,000/- & other burn injuries, deformities cost Rs. 30 - 40,000/- per patient. This definitely requires more support & generosity from those who are blessed with sound financial conditions OR rich & affluent section of our society.

Progress Report 2002 - 2003

We happy to confirm following various activities conducted under the banner of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts in India for the period from January 02 to March 03.

1. First Surgical Session was held at Ayurvedic Mahavidyalaya at Amravati between 4th January 2002 to 6th January 2002, during which 21 patients were operated, wherein various Plastic Surgery procedures under the guidance of Dr. Ashok Gupta and the team were undertaken.

2. Simultaneously, another Surgical Session held at Shriram Hospital Akola & Civil Hospital at Akola wherein, 31 patients were operated upon and 105 patients were evaluated for various surgeries.

3. 16 patients were evaluated for various Plastic Surgery procedures at the Institute Plastic, Aesthetic and Laser Surgery at Bombay and a total of 10 were operated upon.

4. 71 patients were evaluated for various Plastic Surgery procedures at a number of above mentioned centers and were operated upon at the Bombay Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Mumbai.

5. A surgical session was conducted at Smt. Parasanben Narandas Ramji Shah Society For Relief & Rehabilitation of the Disabled at Bhavnagar,wherein 78 patients were evaluated for various Plastic Surgery procedures 25 patients were operated between 25th October to 27th October 02.

6. A surgical session was held at Ayurvedic Mahavidyalaya at Amravati between 21st February 2003 to 22nd February 2003, wherein 100 patients were evaluated and 36 patients were operated upon for various Plastic Surgery procedures.

7. A Surgical Session at Institute of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery was held between 23rd April to 25th April 2003, wherein 10 patients were evaluated and 3 patients were operated upon for Plastic Surgery Procedures.

8. A Surgical & Diagnostic Session at Smt. Parasanben Narandas Ramji Shah Society For Relief & Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Bhavnagar between 27th June to 29 June 2003.

9.. A Surgical Session at Institute of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery on 11th July 2003 to 13th July 2003.

Planned activities for Dec. 04

1. A Grand Surgical & Diagnostic Session at Ayurvedic Mahavidyalaya at Amravati between 30th November 2004 to 4th December 2004.

2. A Surgical & Diagnostic Session is planned at Smt. Parasanben Narandas Ramji Shah Society For Relief & Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Bhavnagar in December 2004.

3. A Surgical & Diagnostic Session is planned at Shree Kalyan Arogya Sadan, Sikar, Rajasthan, in December 2004.

Over and above these, surgeries are being performed regularly on going basis at Institute of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Bombay Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Dayanand Medical Collage & Hospital, Ludhiana & Ayurvedic Mahavidyalay Amravati.
Dr.Ashok Gupta