Saturday, May 10, 2008

request for funds for an operation

I was just approached at 9am 8th of May 2008 in Hingurakgoda, while I was typing the earlier article, by a man whose family is known to me. He came with his son to ask for a donation for an operation that is needed to on the 5yr boy, costing Rs 270,000 at the Sirimavo Bandaranayaka Hospital for Children in Kandy. I was shown photocopies of the following; a copy of a letter with no official letter-head stating Rs270,000 being required with Rs100,000 having been obtained from the Presidential Secretariat from the President’s Fund, a copy of a letter with Presidential Secretariat letterhead saying a donation of Rs100,000 has been made from the President’s Fund, a Gramasevaka certification copy, a letter from the Thamankaduwa Pradeshiya Sabha and copy of a letter from the specialist asking that the child be excused from school and a copy of the doctors note showing his diagnosis of Nephrotic syndrome and a further copy of the treatment plans with Prednilazone steroid being used to treat the illness. There were also copies of lists of donors for this cause.

There was no indication of an operation being required. I called a cousin of mine who is a specialist and was told that he was following the usual treatment for some one of such an age, and no major surgery is usually required, as no kidney transplant had been indicated.

Knowing this family who are always trying to get money by fair means or foul was another factor so I refused to give anything on the grounds that I did not see any indication of a surgery being called for. No doubt they will come again with some evidence of that. In such cases, how is one to believe.

It is common in this country for people to come and collect funds of this kind, some of which is truthful and others not. It is very difficult for the average person to know fact from fiction. There is a great sense of charity amongst the poorer people in this country and I am saddened if they have been taken for a ride using their hard earned money to help a person in need.

If this is truly a ruse and even if the Presidential Secretariat has been duped, then I take issue with the government servant who did the necessary investigation before releasing the money from the President’s Fund. If the letter from the Presidential Secretariat has been forged, then that too would be some grounds for prosecution. It is sad therefore that one uses the illness of a child to try and get as much money for oneself.

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