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First Ever Childhood Injury Prevention Organization Begins Operations in India

September 20, 2007

Mumbai, 20th September, 2007—Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of non-profit organizations, has joined with the Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust to launch the Safe Kids Foundation in Mumbai. The foundation is dedicated to the prevention of unintentional injuries such as road traffic injuries, falls, burns, drowning and poisoning to children ages 14 and younger.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, there were 15,281 children ages 14 and younger reported as killed by unintentional injuries in India in 2005. However, in 2000 the World Heath Organization projected nearly 120,000 accidental deaths a year to children in this same age group—similar to the rate in the Asia Pacific countries of China, Korea and the Philippines. The vast difference between the number of reported deaths and the projected number clearly demonstrates the need for better documentation and tracking of injuries in India. Various government agencies, hospitals and NGOs must all work together to develop a complete reporting of unintentional injuries to children.

“The creation of the Safe Kids Foundation in India is a logical continuation of the Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust’s work to help children of all backgrounds lead better lives,” said Mahendra Mehta, the trustee of Safe Kids Foundation and founder of the Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust. “With our experience in mobility programs, we are especially proud to be taking the lead on preventing injuries to children in Mumbai.”

“Both adults and children must understand that we have the power to prevent many injuries and injury related deaths before they occur,” said Martin Eichelberger, M.D., the chairman and founder of Safe Kids Worldwide. “The answer is not better hospitals or more doctors. The answer is prevention. By fully understanding the dangers children face and teaching them how to stay safe we can keep them out of the hospital’s emergency room.” 

“Safety is of the utmost importance at FedEx and we are delighted to support the launch of the Safe Kids Foundation in India,” said Jacques Creeten, vice president, FedEx India. “We work with Safe Kids Worldwide on road safety programs in many countries and are thrilled to sponsor the Safe Kids Walk This Way pedestrian safety program in Mumbai. We look forward to the program kickoff event on 3 October and are proud to play a role in educating children in Mumbai about how to stay safe.”

India was selected as the 17th country for Safe Kids Worldwide programs after the organization examined the injury risks to children in the region. The Research Unit of Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work was assigned by the Safe Kids Foundation to conduct a study on the attitudes of medical personnel, health officers and police, traffic department and fire brigade officials regarding unintentional childhood injuries. The health and safety professionals who were surveyed for the research identified falls, road traffic injuries and burns as the top three most significant injury risks facing children in the city of Mumbai.  

The study sponsored by FedEx also revealed that 88 percent of medical personnel surveyed believed that education and awareness programs would be beneficial in preventing unintentional injuries to children. It also sought to quantify the types and severity of unintentional injuries to children by studying data from four major hospitals in Mumbai. Due to the thousands of private medical facilities in Mumbai, accurate injury data is difficult to compile, however the hospital data supported the findings of the survey of professionals.

The studies were funded through grants from long-standing Safe Kids sponsor FedEx , which also provided infrastructure funding to help establish the organization.   

The partnership between the Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust and Safe Kids Worldwide began when Mehta and Eichelberger both received major Awards from the World of Children in 2003. Both men have a long history of charitable work benefiting children. Mr. Mehta’s extensive work with children, in India and around the world, made his charitable trust an ideal partner for Safe Kids Worldwide. 

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In India, Mahendra Mehta and the Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust are credited for helping millions of children through an assortment of educational, medical, developmental, and other initiatives. Specifically, the children of India have benefited from: corrective polio surgery, cleft lip surgery, pre and post natal facilities, education programs, youth small business training programs, vocational and job skill programs, investment programs for youth, night squad programs, food for education programs, free book and garment distributions, concentrated language encounter programs, and help to newly immigrated children. For more information, please visit www.rnct.org.

FedEx and Safe Kids Foundation

 FedEx has sponsored Safe Kids Walk This Way, Safe Kids Worldwide’s pedestrian program since 1999. The Walk This Way program operates in 7 countries and is the first program of the Safe Kids Foundation to begin injury prevention activities for children in India. The kick off for the Safe Kids Walk This Way program will be held in Mumbai on Oct. 3. 

Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. More than 450 coalitions in 17 countries bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. The organization was founded in 1987 by Children’s National Medical Center with support from Johnson & Johnson. For more information, please visit www.safekids.org.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services.  With annual revenues of $35 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand.  Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 280,000 employees and contractors to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities.  For more information, visit http://news.fedex.com.

 

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