World Thalassemia Day is being observed on May 8 to raise awareness about the disease in which a person experiences inherited blood disorders characterized by abnormal hemoglobin production among common public. To eradicate this disease from the country, a common 77-year-old man, Thadharam Tolani, has set on a mission riding around Kopri on his scooter wearing a white kurta-pajama.
This septuagenarian has already conducted 290 camps in 200 cities across seven states in India to spread awareness about thalassemia over the last decade. Not just this, the man founded an organization called Tolani Seva Mandal in 2013, which not only raises funds for thalassemia-affected children but also regularly run free blood test camps for people across the country.
Tolani, who was also a corporator in Kopri before, gave up his position to fight for this cause. According to him, 10,000 to 12,000 children are born with thalassemia major in India every year and it is important to spread awareness about it. On World Thalassemia Day this year, the man makes it a point to aware people and have them their blood group before getting married. He believes that if this happens, he would be able to eradicate the disease within three years.
Well, it was not always that Mr. Tolani was driven towards this cause. The death of his grandson who was a thalassemia patient gave Tolani a push to take up this struggle against the disease in 1988.
World Health Organization (WHO) established 8th of May as World Thalassemia Day in order to raise the public awareness about this disease, prevention measures and measures to avoid its transmission. The theme for the day this year is “Thalassaemia past, present, and future: Documenting progress and patients’ needs worldwide”