In 1957, looking out at a large audience in Montgomery, Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, "The most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'."
Today as we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we reflect on his legacy and on the ways in which we serve and assist others.
IHBS just wrapped up our annual end-of-the-year fundraising campaign, and the outpouring of support that will go to help others was staggering. Our supporters donated from their hearts, knowing that the money raised would go to serve families in India in the crucial areas of healthcare, education and women's empowerment.
Our partner organization, HBS Trust, completed its last medical mission in December, bringing to a close a year of both medical and dental missions that attended to hundreds of patients. The medical missions performed dozens of surgical procedures including life-changing cataract and cleft-lip surgeries for both children and adults.
For the patients who received these services, their lives are forever altered. A young girl shunned by society because of a deforming cleft-lip and relegated to live out her life in the home of her parents, can now get married, can find a job, can have a family of her own. A child who had never spent a day in a classroom because he was considered blind and his education was not a priority, can now see after a large cataract was removed from his eye and is able to attend school and look forward his future. These are just some of the incredible changes that can happen as a result of people helping others.
In doing her own reflection on the last year and looking forward to what 2018 will bring, Dr. Kanti Jain, head of HBS Trust noted: "I would like people to know that one and one make eleven. We must join our hands so that we can serve better." She pointed to the many ways in which small acts of service have led to large and sometimes unexpected change. For example, when the HBS Hospital opened, it was the only health facility serving the community for miles. Since that time, nine private clinics have opened in the area, serving the local communities. The doctors that opened these clinics were trained at the HBS Trust hospital.
For 2018, HBS Trust and IHBS look forward to continuing to grow the healthcare, education, and women's empowerment programs that serve so many people. In particular, we would like to continue to expand our Healthcare 2 Unreached project, which provides immunizations for children and pregnant women in isolated rural areas. We also hope to see the new addition to Bal Academy open in this year, which will provide technical training for high schoolers as they prepare to enter into the job market.