Image Courtesy: Cuddles Foundation
Cuddles Foundation is India’s only NGO that focuses on providing holistic nutritional support to underprivileged children who are fighting with cancer. Many families of such children travel to cities like Mumbai and New Delhi to seek treatment. And in the course, they face various challenges including accommodation problems, lack of funds and most importantly, access to nutritious meals, which is the most important thing during the treatment period.
The NGO works through tie-ups with government and charity hospitals like Tata Memorial Hospital (Mumbai), AIIMS (New Delhi), Kidwai Memorial (Bengaluru), SGPGI (Lucknow) and NRS Medical College (Kolkata). Its programs include, without being limited to, capacity building at hospitals, nutritional supplementation, mid-day meals in OPD and providing ration baskets to the needy families.
Currently it is working with more than 18,000 children, across 16 hospitals and eight cities per year and reaches out to more than 3,000 kids every month. Apart from this, the NGO, in association with Tata Memorial Hospital is also in the process of enhancing the education of nutritionists to enable them to be competent in the super specialized fields of Paediatric Oncology Nutrition. This is done by hosting various conferences like SIOP-PODC (International Society of Paediatric Oncology- Nutrition working group) fellowship programs, under which the specialists from world’s renowned institutes teach and mentor our nutritionists. Formed in 2012, it’s a trust, registered under the Mumbai Public Trust Act, 1950.
Cuddles Foundation uses a four-way approach to support as many children and families as possible:
Nutritional Guidance and Counselling: The nutritionists and social workers work tirelessly to counsel and advise the children, parents and caregivers. They perform the critical function of ensuring that the children get the required nutritional guidance and care not only at the hospital but also at home.
Nutritional Supplementation: The children are provided with nutritional supplements, mid-day meals, eggs, fruits, ready-to-use therapeutic foods and other related products that help build their immunity and increase their chances of coping successfully with the strong chemotherapy sessions.
Ration Program: Besides, ration bundles including rice, wheat flour, pulses, jaggery and other basic supplies to are provided to families fighting cancer to help feed nutritious meals to their child and stay for the treatment.
Research: Ground-breaking research and studies are conducted on the impact of nutritional intervention in collaboration with Tata Memorial Hospital and AIIMS. These studies further help in creating awareness about the cause.
About the Founder:
Purnota Dutta Bahl holds an MBA from the Indian School of Business. Her Cuddles Foundation journey started as a small drive with strong belief among her friends and family, after she visited the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. When she came across families of children undergoing cancer treatment experience a sea of challenges including lack of funds and access to nutritious meals, she decided to combine her love and expertise to reach out to them.
Cuddles Foundation, c/o Nangia and Co., 1101, 11th floor, Tower-B, Peninsula Business Park, Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai – 400 013 (MH, India) | [email protected] | +91 22 6173 7061.