How Are we Supporting Children’s Heart Treatment in India - Blog



How Are we Supporting Children’s Heart Treatment in India

March 28, 2024 | Contributed by Preeti Kumar

Our NGO was set up over 2 decades ago when our Founder Trustees, Prema and Jyoti Sagar lost their second born son to a congenital heart defect. Battling with a myriad of emotions ranging from anger, grief, despair, helplessness to name a few, they started volunteering with Missionaries of Charity. During this time, they started supporting children with critical illnesses allowing them to turn their wounds into a source of strength for others. It was during this time that they decided to support children born with a heart defect and set up the biggest NGO for heart treatment in India.

Since then, we have been supporting children born with a congenital heart defect. We envision as India where no child born with a heart defect is denied treatment due to a lack of awareness and funds. We facilitate the more common hole in heart treatment for children in India as well as treatments for other congenital heart defects like Tetralogy of Fallot, Valve Repair, Coarctation of Aorta among others

We do this through 4 main verticals:

1) Hope: We focus on supporting the medical treatment of underprivileged children diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. These are in the age group of 0-18 years and belong to families who cannot afford the cost of the treatment. In doing this we work closely with the families and doctors to ensure that the children are given the required treatment. In addition to financially supporting the medical treatment of these children we also measure the impact of the intervention through a stringent and robust system. This helps unsure that the children we support are given a chance at life and that they continue to thrive post the intervention.

2) Care: To support children across the country we partner with hospitals that have quality pediatric cardiac care centers. We have a network of 30+ partner hospitals located across the country as this helps us ensure that wherever possible we can provide help to children close to their area of residence. We follow stringent criteria for partnering with hospitals to ensure that quality of care is never compromised. These hospitals provide basic hole in heart treatment as well as treatment for more complex congenital heart defects. We also conduct screening camps with our partner hospitals in locations with no/limited access to pediatric cardiac facilities to ensure that children living in underserved areas are diagnosed and treated on time.

3) Give: The work we do is sustained by a community of donors and partners. Over the years we have been able to build a community of stakeholders who believe in our cause and in our mission to Save Little Hearts. A strong network of CSR partners and institutional donors have been the reason due to which we have been able to reach out and given life a chance to thousands of children pan India. In addition, we have organised annual fundraisers to help us both build awareness and raise funds to support children.

4) Learn: As one of the biggest NGO for heart treatment in India, we continuously build a repository of information on congenital heart defects. Our annual reports throw light on the work we are doing on the ground to Save Little Hearts.


Over the years we have been able to give life a chance to 4600+ children suffering from a critical medical illness.  We have supported some simple hole in heart treatment as well as treatment of many complex defects. We have many firsts, such as – treatment of the lightest pre-mature baby (900 grams) in India; One surgery which involved 3D printing of the heart to plan the surgery; and then the world’s first heart surgery of a young girl called Mythili whose heart valve was reconstructed with her own tissue, a rare procedure called an Ozaki procedure. Recently we supported the surgery of a 42-day old baby in Kerala who did not have a sternum and the heart was outside chest cavity. This was the youngest baby in Kerala to undergo such a repair. While numbers are important, they only tell part of the story. The parents of the children we support are mainly daily wage earners and are unable to support the cost of the treatment. Many of these children have now been able to go back to school and lead normal lives like their peers. The parents have been able to get back to their lives as well.

We have a long way ahead of us – to ensure that we are able to reach the last child waiting for a treatment for a congenital heart defect- regardless of how much the family earns and where the family lives. Life is a gift and every child has the right to a chance at life.


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