November 23, 2014

Serving the less fortunate, an inspiration – George Subraj

“I want to inspire all of you to do something for the less fortunate, we can all help the less fortunate.” These were the words of philanthropist George Subraj, an overseas based Guyanese who resides in the United States (U.S).

At a simple cocktail ceremony held at Buddy’s International Hotel last Friday evening to celebrate the successes of the doctors of the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in assisting Guyana in conducting successful Kidney transplants, Subraj stated that he is pleased to assist the less fortunate here.

Philanthropist George Subraj and Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Manniram Prashad with members of the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre

The first kidney transplant was conducted in 2008 on eighteen-year old Munesh Mangal of Lusignan, East Coast Demerara at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) after he suffered for sometime from renal failure because of hypertension. That surgery was performed by a team of local and overseas doctors, who transplanted a kidney from Munesh’s 41 year old mother, Leelkumarie Nirananjan Mangal to the eighteen-year old.

Since the first transplant, four other persons have since benefitted, bringing the number of beneficiaries to five. In March 2011 the fifth kidney transplant was done at the Balwant Singh Hospital where 34 year old Gopinauth Rampersaud, a bank clerk, received a new kidney from his younger brother Kapildeo. The three other surgeries conducted prior to March 2011 were done at GPHC.

Subraj, the President of Zara Realty Holding Corporation, whose initiative it was to help Guyanese who have different ailments, noted that being in unfortunate circumstances “is not easy” and coming from humble beginnings, he knows very well how different it is to be unable to afford necessities.

“Charity begins at home,” Subraj said, “It aint easy”, he told the simple gathering. The philanthropist thanked the local and overseas doctors who conducted the surgeries, the Balwant Singh and GPHC hospitals as well as Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy for providing free medication for the operations.

Meanwhile, Pro–Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Dr. Prem Misir expressed appreciation for the work done by Subraj and his medical friends.

“What you are doing is of immense value to Guyana,” he said, pointing out that his effort had redefined the role the diaspora can play in Guyana.

City Mayor Hamilton Green, committed to making a Mayoral award to the group for their kindness to Guyanese.

“I hope this will inspire others who operate from outside the territorial boundaries of Guyana.” Mayor Green told the grouping.

Senior Counsel Jailall Kissoon, reminded Subraj and those gathered that “Money cannot reward you, fame cannot gratify you, but the service that you give as the Lord did give without asking for anything in return, only the grand architect of the universe can compensate you for the selfless service you rendered to those who otherwise would not have received it.”

With all that said of the philanthropist, Dr. Raul Jindall of the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre stated that it was his pleasure and that of his team to help those in need. He noted that while there were several hurdles; those challenges did not deter the group from saving lives.

“Before we came, kidney failure was like a death sentence …it is expensive… but this gives hope for other patients.” Dr. Jindall, stated.

There are currently other patients that are being screened and it is hoped that local doctors can be trained to conduct the surgeries in the future.