June, 14, 2021
In India, almost 300,000 children are born every year with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD)with 25% of thembeing born with a critical defect who are not able to live past their first birthday if they don’t receive appropriate and timely intervention. Many of these children seldom reach the age of one as their families are not able to afford the treatment. The Lack of Awareness, medical infrastructure and cost intensive treatment poses a tremendous challenge for the families, society and the health care system.
With the deep rooted Rotary spirit to serve humanity, and recognising the imminent need to raise CHD awareness, and funds to support children heart surgeries, in March 2021, Rotary Club of Delhi South (RCDS) announced the first of its kind international, annual hybrid golf tournament.
The focus of the annual fundraiser was to bring humanity together to serve humanity and create lasting impact by giving a ‘Gift of Life’ to children with CHD from the underprivileged homes, who can ill afford the resource- intensive treatment and may lose their battle to this life threatening birth defect.
The hybrid golf tournament generated a lot of interest across the globe due to its unique format and united golfers, corporates and kind hearted people from across the globe to participate and contribute generously to give children with Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) the best possible gift, the Gift of Life. The cause tugged on the heart strings of many including the eternal “Dream Girl’ of India, Hema Malini ji, who lent her support by making a video appeal to all to participate and donate generously towards the cause.
The 1st of the 10-year annual tournament saw a whole hearted participation from the golfers who pledged their support to the noble cause and was inaugurated at the prestigious Delhi Golf Club on April 14th 2021 Delhi Golf Club. For inaugural tee-off, we were joined by the legendary, Padma Bhushan Kapil Dev along with RCDS senior officials and many other celebrity golfers.
The tournament was held from April 14th to May 25th 2021. This unique tournament, where the participants could play at a golf course of their choice anywhere in the world and submit their scores online, was conceptualized by Sports and Leisure Worldwide (SLW).
Despite the event coinciding with the onslaught of the second wave of Covid 19 pandemic and the heightened aftermath, the spirit to serve the community remained high and the hard work to create an impact not just here and now but a lasting impact for decade to give a gift of life did not stop. RCDS team and event partners worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, despite trying times personally, engage and involve prominent personalities such as Mr. K.P Singh of DLF, Celebrity Golfers Manav Jaini, Vani Kapoor, Asees Alhuwalia and more, and leading media including Vijay Lokapally and Robin Boseto create the much needed awareness and support for the noble cause. Golfers across the globe extended their support to the tournament giving children suffering from Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) a gift of life.
Speaking on the occasion RCDS President, Mr. Pradeep Kumar said, “Gift of Life is an International program by Rotary Club, to help children from underprivileged homes fight the life-threatening heart defects that they are born with. Not getting the right treatment at the right time, most often results in untimely death or disabilities. This unique, first of its kind, International Hybrid Golf Event, is a humble attempt by our club to get the kind-hearted individuals together to give the gift of life to these infants, while they get to play the best shot of their game. We are committed to this cause and are extremely pleased with the success of the inaugural hybrid golf tournament despite COVID times. We will be able to support the surgeries of 15 plus children with the funds raised.”
Adding to Pradeep Kumar’s sentiments, President elect Anil Agarwal, RCDS on the successful closure of the tournament said, “The pandemic has just once again taught is all the importance of humanity, to stand united to help, serve and create lasting impact. And there sure cannot any community service more impactful and humane than to save a little life and givea ‘Gift of Life’ to a child with an ailing heart but, eyes full of dreams and raring to go only if the heart got another chance to beat.The Rotary Club of Delhi South has committed itself to this cause and the intial planning for the second season of the 10 year event, which is tentatively planned for February of 2022, is underway.”
Many prominent organizations such as Container Corporation of India, DLF, DeBeers, Cosmos, Shakti Pulleys and more came forward to support the cause. The event was made a big success with the express support of Child Heart Foundation, Forevermark , SAGFR, QuikRelations Pvt Ltd, & SLW Golf Management.