The ‘Hridayathalam’ (Heart Beat), programme, initiated by a trust founded by noted playback singer K. J. Yesudas coinciding with his 70th birth day, has given a new lease of life to over 100 economically poor patients since its inception two months ago.

Though the initial target was only 70 patients, already more than 100 patients had undergone heart surgeries with the financial assistance under the programme launched on March 6 by the Divyakarunaya Trust commemorating the singer’s birthday, a trust official said.

It was launched at a unique function where 43 renowned playback singers, representing various languages and states, participated.

“So far, we could successfully arrange operations for over 100 patients. We have plans to undertake post-surgery care in deserving cases, otherwise the operated patients may not survive and the very purpose of Hridayathalam programme will be defeated,” Benny Josephy, General Convener, said.

The project, which has won acclaims from far and wide, was aimed at helping the poorest among the poor children waiting for heart surgeries and who have no resources at all or not having ample resources of their own, he said.

With applications for assistance being received every day, the target has been raised to 700 now, he added.

To ensure that the patients who got financial support for heart surgeries are getting proper care post—surgery, it was planned to create a rehabilitation centre with ambulance and other facilities, he said.

Mr. Yesudas, who has enthralled music lovers with his melodious voice, has attributed the success of the programme to the benevolence of God.

The project has been getting huge support from all quarters including from many philanthropic persons, groups, firms, institutions and from the film world, he said.

To ensure transparency, the details of contributors and that of the beneficiaries would be made available on the trust website in the near future, he said.

Lions International District 324—E4 is also jointly sponsoring the Hridayathalam programme.