November 28, 2018

WSU neonatologist hosts Bollywood-inspired fundraiser for Project Palav on Dec. 2

The Michigan and India-based charity Project Palav and the Pioneer Medical Research Foundation will host a local fundraiser dedicated to saving babies with weak lungs in India, Ghana, Kenya and Sri Lanka. "Back to the Future: An Ultimate Bollywood Musical," will be staged from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at Seaholm High School in Birmingham.

The evening will include performances by Funaach, Miraya Dance Group, Mathangi Dance Crew, ASD Bhangra, Michigan Sahana, Michigan Manzil, Amit Deshpande, Jasmin Jose and Amitabh Mudiraj. Dinner will follow the performances. Tickets start at $20 per person and are available at or by calling 248-347-2821.

Project Palav and the Pioneer Medical Research Foundation were co-founded by Wayne State University School of Medicine's Nitin Chouthai, M.B.B.S., D.C.H., F.A.A.P., associate professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Neonatal Perinatal Medicine. He is also managing director and chief executive officer of the charity. Its mission is to combat neonatal respiratory illness by providing the fundamental medical necessities to international clinics that serve an underprivileged and ill-equipped population, including breathing support equipment, training for health care providers, rural and tribal health care center upgrades, and safe patient transportation.

This year the charity collaborated with a rotary club to donate $100,000 worth of equipment to Sane Guruji Hospital, which now has the capacity to save 1,000 babies a year and donated equipment to several hospitals in India. Project Palav also distributed more than $400,000 of equipment, including five incubators, four transport incubators and other equipment, to upgrade 50 centers in rural Maharashtra. In Kenya, the organization provided support to a pediatric resident and training on breathing support at birth to more than 40 centers and more than 100 health care workers.

Locally, Project Palav plans to launch a breastfeeding awareness campaign in collaboration with the Detroit Rotary Club.

"Breastfeeding rates in Detroit are extremely low, and that impacts neonatal mortality rates," Dr. Chouthai said. "We plan to improve education of health care providers, nurses, the community and businesses to improve breastfeeding rates."

The charity hopes to raise $250,000 in 2019.

For more information, including volunteer and donation opportunities, contact