Strand Life Sciences: Bettering lives
With an aim to provide better healthcare access at affordable cost to all people living in the Indian society, Strand Life Sciences tries to live upto its commitments and has shouldered its share of social responsibility through its Stand Life Foundation.
Strand Life Foundation
|“Strand Life Foundation seeks to contribute by bridging gaps in health (including preventive, nutritional and mental health) needs of women and children by promoting programmes and activities that steer them towards healthier living and empower them to opt for a better quality of life.”
Dr Vijay Chandru
Chairman & Chief Executive, Strand Life Sciences
Dr Vijay Chandru, Chairman and Chief Executive, Strand Life Sciences informs that the Strand Life Foundation is a not-for-profit enterprise established by Strand Life Sciences in 2014 with the vision to:
- Make genomic-based diagnostics affordable and accessible to populations in India and other economies in need of these services. The Strand Life Foundation intends to achieve this ambition through funding of programmes such as R&D for cost optimisation, direct payments to patients or to healthcare providers and related service providers to alleviate the financial burden on patients, and advancement of the state of knowledge and science in the field of genetics and clinical genomics.
- Change in the current scenario, by enhancing the focus on personalised medicine, and women and child health.
- Conservation of ecological biodiversity.
Its various CSR initiatives comprise:
- Social partnerships – Personalised medicine
As a major milestone towards enabling an ecosystem of personalised medical treatment for patients with cancer and other genetic diseases, Strand Life Sciences has received a grant from the Mazumdar-Shaw Medical Foundation to set up a translational research laboratory in India for genomics and personalised medicine.
- Women and child health
Informing about the work carried for women and children in the healthcare domain, Chandru highlights that Strand Life Foundation seeks to contribute by bridging gaps in health (including preventive, nutritional and mental health) needs of women and children by promoting programmes and activities that steer them towards healthier living and empower them to opt for a better quality of life.
Rising numbers of cancer related deaths is a serious cause of concern in India. If we calculate the data available in the public domain in the last three or years, the total number of deaths related to cancer has already grown multi-fold. Stand Life Sciences is working to create public awareness in this area through various programmes. Chandru informs, “In our efforts to highlight the need for increased awareness about breast cancer, The Strand Centre supported the 2014, Bangalore Pinkathon, which is an international all women’s run. Also, as a part of the public initiative and support towards the Pinkathon, a social media page called GENOMICS and WOMEN has been set up by Strand to keep women abreast about the importance of genomics in various diseases.”
- Child education
Better educated and informed children are the future of Indian economy hence the company has chosen to associate itself with child education programmes. Chandru elaborates on these initiatives and says, “The Strand Life Foundation actively participates in organising educational programmes for underprivileged elementary and high school students in rural Bangalore and surrounding areas. Recently, we participated in an innovation, science and technology fair organised by the Ankurit Foundation to imbibe children between ages 5 and 17 with curiosity and love for science. The science fair attracted more than 2000 students from across different government and private schools in Bangalore.” Strand employees enthusiastically and voluntarily participate in all CSR activities undertaken by the company.
- Environment and Biodiversity Conservation
Realising to its duty and responsibilities towards nature, the Strand Foundation has also opted to work in this area. Recalling his company’s philosophy and responsibilities, Chandru emphasises, “The Strand Life Foundation takes its environmental responsibility seriously and endeavours to promote the protection of ecological biodiversity by funding programmes such as cataloguing of biodiversity, and R&D to develop relevant tools and methods.”
The India Biodiversity Portal (IBP) is Strand’s contribution to help biodiversity conservation in India. IBP is designed to harness collective knowledge on biodiversity; aggregate information and provide free and open access to biodiversity information. IBP was launched in 2008 and supported by a group of like-minded institutions and endorsed by the National Knowledge Commission to support open data in biodiversity. Strand is the technology partner in building this enabling platform to crowd source, curate, and aggregate biodiversity information. The platform has matured and now consists of a fully featured web GIS module; a standards compliant species pages module; a document and open data module; and a citizen science observation module. This integrated open source, Biodiversity Informatics Platform powers the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal (BBP), the Weed Identification and Knowledge in the Western Indian Ocean (WIKWIO), the India Biodiversity Portal (IBP), and the Western Ghats Portal (WGP). The Western Ghats Biodiversity Portal was funded by Conservation International, USA as part of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).