People Social

The Story of: Raven Charitable Trust

There is a bad world out there making us lose faith in good. But in that dusky graveyard of greed ridden souls when a child walks laying flowers on every grave, he unknowingly lays a new path for good proving that humanity and hope can still thrive in the darkest corners of the world. Raven Charitable Trust is one such infant organization which has made it its only goal to provide better and economical healthcare to people.

As like any other interview, we thought it to be, we packed our stuff and rolled. Although the destination and organisation of interest were changed, we had a hope of coming back with an amazing story to tell about the founding of the organisation. And Raven Charitable Trust didn’t disappoint us.

raven charitable trust logo

Where the usual stories of establishments may have heart touching beginnings, the story of this organisation has a surprising one.

In the year 2008 Mrs. Charlotte Raven visited India with her beloved husband. Mrs Raven who had lived in Kashmir earlier was more than eager to visit this country once again. But unfortunately during her visit, her husband fell sick and needed medical care. It was during this time of need that she was introduced to Dr Deepak Babel. Over the course of the treatment none of them knew that their casual conversations would lead to the beginning of something that would change not only their but also many other peoples’ lives too.

Mrs Raven and Dr Deepak Babel Dr C.S. Babel (with the Prince), Dr Deepak Babel and Dr Meetu Mehta


I know it is hard to believe that the seeds for Raven Charitable were sown somewhere in between those casual and friendly talks but it’s the truth and none of us know which next great organisation is hidden among our casual talks.  As it is wisely said “Chances are always there, it takes a wise mind to spot them.”

Since its beginning in 2009, and a year after, the Raven Charitable Trust has been sailing its two ships “DISHA” and “PEHAL” successfully under the captain-ship of Dr. Deepak Babel.

Well that was indeed the beginning for a healthcare organisation but the important part of the beginning that we discovered later were the two initiatives “DISHA” and “PEHAL”. They might not be the reason for beginning, but they are the reasons the organisation is known for.

DISHA PIC - Raven Charitable

“DISHA” was the first initiative of the RCT. It is basically a day care centre situated in Bari Village of Udaipur, Rajasthan. “DISHA” focuses on providing free healthcare for poor people. It has a well-built infrastructure which has been serving for greater good on the following purposes for rural population:

  •   General healthcare and hygiene
  •   Nutrition
  •   Women’s healthcare (Gynaecology/Obstetrics)
  •   Children’s healthcare (Paediatrics)
  •   Healthcare education

Now before we start talking about “PEHAL”, I would like to prepare you a bit. Thalassemia is an autosomal recessive blood disorder, functions by weakening and destroying Red Blood Cells.

Didn’t get it?

Don’t worry. We too didn’t get it until Dr Babel explained it to us after our first study of it on Wikipedia. So in simple words, Thalassemia is a genetically caused blood disorder which results in destruction of Red Blood Cells. For those of you who don’t know, Red Blood Cells are responsible for carrying Oxygen in blood.

So once they are destroyed there will be no way to transport oxygen, which is vital for human body, resulting in death of the person.

A bloody murderer it is.


The scary part of this story is that you, I, our friends, parents, cousins or any person we know could be a carrier of this disease. Thalassemia is diagnosed usually in babies. But this doesn’t mean we cannot be carrying it.  In medical terms we might be a carrier.

A carrier doesn’t shows signs of the disease but when two carriers mate and by chance two disease carrying genes are transferred to the new born, then the new born will be suffering from thalassemia or any other genetically transmitted disease. Therefore it is very important to get tested for genetic diseases before mating or planning to have a child.

Now that you know the basics about Thalassemia, we will go back to “PEHAL”. The whole purpose of “PEHAL” is to provide medical & financial care and attention to children suffering from Thalassemia. As its literal meaning, to initiate, “PEHAL” has initiated a revolution to educate people, cure Thalassemia and is helping families get back on track.

Since Thalassemia is usually fatal by the age of 2 to 3 years, the family of the child is affected both emotionally and financially. A part of “PEHAL” is working by connecting families of children together to make them strong and supportive. These families together help each other overcome fears which in turn help in better treatment for their children.

Children who are diagnosed with this disease have to undergo a life-long treatment which includes regular blood transfusion. The regular blood transfusion is also responsible for the biggest side effect of the treatment i.e. increased level of iron in the body.

Too much iron can result in damage to the heart, liver and endocrine system, which includes glands that produce hormones that regulate processes throughout the body. The damage is characterized by excessive deposits of iron. Without adequate iron chelation therapy, almost all patients with beta-thalassemia are likely to accumulate potentially fatal iron levels.

“PEHAL” helps families in understanding the purpose and importance of chelation therapy for a thalassemia patient. Other important aspect of this knowledge is that thalassemia patients should not be given extra iron.

A thalassemia patient is required to undergo blood transfusion so that the defective bone marrow remains suppressed and does not produce defective red blood cells. A normal transfusion costs around Rupees 8000 to 9000. “PEHAL” is helping in reducing this cost by 70%.

Alternative to transfusion is Bone Marrow Transplant which is quite a permanent cure. The cost of this treatment is estimated to be around Rupees 20 lakhs. “PEHAL” with the help of Apollo Group’s partnership has been able to provide bone marrow transplant at a reduced amount of 10 lakh rupees.

It will be quite harsh to say this, but it is an upsetting truth that thalassemia can destroy a family financially and its emotional implications are countless. And we are not talking about only the child suffering from it.

Usually Thalassemia is detected when the baby is of 8 to 9 months. The first symptoms are blood loss.  But before this a test can be done while the baby is still in the womb. This test can tell us if the baby has thalassemia or not. If it has thalassemia than parents should get the baby aborted. Abortion in such cases are legal.

Another test could be done which detects whether the parents are carriers of the disease or not. If found as carriers they should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

“PEHAL” is working round the clock to educate and help people to fight this disease. Presently they are catering 140 patients. All 140 patients are children of age between 2 to 10 years. With proper treatment in these modern times a thalassemia suffering patient’s life expectancy can be increased to a minimum of 30 years.

The captain of the ships “PEHAL” and “DISHA”- Dr Deepak Babel has been doing his job commendably well. The projects now have a dedicated team of experts, better and more knowledgeable families in terms of the disease(s) and a wide social reach. With the help of modern technologies they are connected to people via Facebook, blog etc. to spread awareness.

Dr Deepak Babel is unlike other doctor we have ever met. He is the first person to tell us that he not only suggests but also recommends alternative treatments such as homeopathy, reiki, Ayurveda etc. as long as they are helping in curing the problem. With the captainship of such a broad minded man we ask you to join and support him in driving these ships around the country to cure and save lives.

Wishing everyone associated with Raven Charitable Trust and its projects and their captain:

 todo lo mejor


You can contact RCT and Dr Babel at:

The Raven Charitable trust.
C/o Dr. Deepak Babel
Lakecity Hosiptal, 21 Fatehpura Bedla Road
Udaipur (Raj.), India
Mobile No. : +91-9828142100
Phone No. : +91-294-2451621
Fax :+91-294-2451865



People Social

The Story of: Saral Blood Bank

Started in 2008, Saral Blood Bank has put itself on the map of health services quite boldly. Operated by Smt. Sarla Singhvi Charitable Society, Saral Blood Bank is a state of the art facility with high end infrastructure and services to collect, store, process and supply blood.

The blood bank attained its license in February 2008 after meritorious efforts made by Mr. Shyam Singhvi, its founder. Chartered Accountant (CA) by profession, Mr. Singhvi has been efficiently managing the blood bank since 2008.

mr shyam singhvi, saral blood bank

Wondering why a Chartered Accountant would go through all the troubles to set up a blood bank?

That’s the exact question which we were thinking before interviewing him.

The story behind the foundation of the Blood Bank goes before 2005. As Mr. Singhvi remembers, it was in the year 2003 when his wife Smt. Sarla Singhvi was diagnosed with cancer. Before leaving the world, Mrs. Sarla Singhvi asked her husband to setup a blood bank so that the people of their city did not have to face troubles. After her passing it was jotted down in Mr. Singhvi’s memory with an iron pen to make her last wishes come true.

His journey began on 25th August, 2005 and seemed as if it was decided in heaven that he won’t stop till he completes the journey of establishing a blood bank. A candidate of his stature had to personally travel more than 40 times to Jaipur and more than 10 times to Delhi in order to just get the license for the blood bank. Where corruption guards the way, Mr. Singhvi chose to take another way round.

In Februrary 2008 his efforts finally paid off. The then health minister, Mr. Digambar Singh Choudhary gave him the NOC. The cherry on the top was that Mr. Singhvi’s efforts got the blood bank both component and whole blood license too. Till then there was no license for components in Southern Rajasthan and General Hospital had only whole blood license.

saral blood bank

The Blood Bank works under Smt. Sarla Devi Charitable Society. Located at: 30, Near Math, Bhupalpura, Udaipur-313001, Rajasthan, India.

The blood bank was inaugurated by Dr. Digamber Singh, the then health minister, along with Dr. VN Shrikhande on 23rd April 2008.

As Mr. Singhvi says, ‘Since then the blood bank is running continuously and has never been shut down for even an hour’. The blood bank has been designed by REMI. The building has a sterile environment and is centrally air conditioned with latest equipments for testing, storing and collecting blood.

Another amazing fact that Mr. Singhvi recalls is that when the ‘Saral’ was founded, with every blood bag, they asked people for replacement when they were capable of doing so. At the beginning almost 33% blood was collected from volunteering donors and rest was collected by requesting to people. After almost 6 years of its foundation the scenario has changed. As the smile on Mr. Singhvi’s face widens and his eyes glow with happiness he is proud to say that now 70% of blood is collected by volunteering donors.

As noble as the idea behind its foundation, Saral Blood Bank shares a noble mission too. The blood bank charges as per the rates fixed by the Government of India. The patients of severe diseases such as thalassemia are give blood free of cost. People who are below poverty line are also given blood free of cost once their BPL certification is verified. Two doctors are always posted (on duty) at the Blood Bank.

The bank now uses automated testing machines by ELISA Technologies. It has also started using gel technology for grouping and cross matching. The bank has a capacity of storing 600 to 800 units of blood at a time and blood is stored in a ‘triple bag’. A triple bag is a blood bag which is used to store components of the blood. Once blood is collected from a person, it is centrifuged and the components: Packed Red Cells, Plasma and Platelets are stored separately. In this way one unit of blood can save three different lives.

Saral Blood Bank has now become a component of ‘Saral Society’, which is dedicatedly providing Mobile Hospitals, Educational & Health Services for the poor and needy in rural areas, Purified Water Services at Government Hospital in Udaipur, 24*7 Ambulance Services and the like.

Once started as a dream, the Saral Blood Bank is now proudly serving the society and can be credited for saving hundreds of lives each day. Recall last time you saved one. Dreams indeed sound crazy, impossible and meaningless, until someone takes the bold step to make them come true. None of us could understand the impression a 450ml blood bag leaves on a person’s life, whether it be a donor or a receiver.

We have all developed the habit of laughing things out. All we need to do is laugh out at people who don’t donate because they find it useless. Except when one is not suitable for donation, each of us should donate blood at least once in life.

My job may have finished at writing this article, but yours has just begun. The contact details of the Blood Bank are given below. Make sure to do your bit. It can save a life.

Address: 30, Near Math, Bhupalpura, Udaipur – 313001, Rajasthan

Phone: 0294-2416285, 09166614802


Photo Credits : Kashish Chandrayan

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