Florida high school student Krishna looks forward to his HEAL Paradise Village return

Florida high school student Krishna looks forward to his HEAL Paradise Village return

Florida student Krishna Gopal Bellam, who created a health camp for 1,000 people at HEAL Paradise Village, has promised to return to Paradise Village to continue his volunteer work with HEAL

Krishna Gopal Bellam, the current valedictorian of Suncoast Community High School, Florida, one of the most prestigious high schools in the USA, has spent the past two summers influencing young minds at HEAL’s flagship project Paradise Village.

“I worked at HEAL Paradise Village in the summer of 2014, teaching all grades in the subjects of maths, English, and science,” says Krishna.

“But I also got involved in other aspects of Paradise, helping interview potential teachers, assisting with technological aspects of the new orphanage school, creating guidelines and even helping to build part of the school.”

Krishna, who has given a speech at the White House dedicated to increasing awareness about Growth Hormone Deficiency as part of the South Asian American Youth Symposium, was keen to return this summer to help create and organise a Mega Health Camp at the Village.

“I returned to continue my work with the children, but only after setting up the health camp, which offered medical advice and assistance to hundreds of local villagers,” he said.

Paradise is situated in a poor rural area where most people live a hand-to-mouth existence and few can afford or access health care, often drastically reducing life expectancy.

“I am genuinely interested and motivated to improve and make a difference in this world and saw this as a chance to provide awareness to the lives of the 800 patients who visited the health camp, which I created in every aspect.”

More than 30 doctors from a medical college in the region conducted health checks, X-rays and sight tests for residents from 15 nearby villages. Many specialist doctors gave their time for the cause, including paediatricians, gynaecologists, orthopaedic surgeons and endocrinologists.

Each visitor was assessed for their specific needs and those who required treatment obtained a free 30-day supply of medication.

Others to benefit were the 200 children and staff currently residing at Paradise Village.

Paradise Village, the brainchild of HEAL founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru, a UK general practitioner, will eventually become home to 1,000 young people from impoverished backgrounds.

An NGO set up 23 years ago to reduce poverty by offering shelter, health care and education to the most vulnerable children in Indian society, is run entirely by volunteers and relies upon child sponsorship, fundraising and donations to meet its running costs.

Krishna is the son of Dr Radhakrishna Bellam, whose family have donated funds for the Navaratna Siromani Bellam Memorial Health Care Centre, part of Phase II of construction work at Paradise Village.

This centre will provide on-site health care for children, staff and volunteers, as well as incorporating an artificial limb centre for the support of child amputees.

“Many more children will be lifted out of poverty to be educated at Paradise over the coming years and I’m looking forward to returning there in future summers to continue to shape the lives of the young,” adds Krishna.

Many more children will be lifted out of poverty to be educated at Paradise over the coming years and I’m looking forward to returning there in future summers to continue to shape the lives of the young