At this moment, over a million people in India are in unimaginable pain. We refuse to look the other way. We choose to hear the cry, and to do what we can.
Please join us. Your help is needed.

Pallium India Chairman to be honored by Human Rights Watch

2014 September 16

Dr M R Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, will be honored by Human Rights Watch with Dr. Alison Des Forges award this November.

Human Rights Watch will present Dr Rajagopal with the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, at two dinners in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. The dinners are an opportunity to inform supporters of Human Rights Watch and others about the “access to pain relief” situation in India, and in particular about the important work that Dr Rajagopal and Pallium India are doing with palliative care. His work over nearly twenty years has contributed to development of India’s National Program in Palliative Care (NPPC) in 2012 and to the Amendment of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of India in 2014.Rajagopal

“Dr Rajagopal is one of the most eloquent and tireless advocates for palliative care I have ever met. His advocacy has given wings to the notion that letting someone suffer from treatable pain is a violation of human rights,” said Mr Diederik Lohman of Human Rights Watch.

The award is named after Dr. Alison Des Forges, senior adviser to Human Rights Watch’s Africa division for almost two decades. Des Forges was the world’s leading expert on Rwanda. Human Rights Watch’s annual award honors her outstanding commitment to, and defense of,human rights. It celebrates the valor of people who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others.

Click to read the announcement at Human Rights Watch website.

Palliative Care Award 2015 for SAARC Countries Instituted by Cancer Aid Society

2014 September 14

Cancer Aid Society, an NGO having Special Consultative Status with United Nations ECOSOC, working across India since 1987 on Palliative Care, Advocacy, Tobacco Control, Cancer and Non Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control, invites Application/ Nominations from Doctors, Paramedical Staff and Social Workers with demonstrative leadership in the field of Palliative Care for the Cancer Patients from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Application can be made by filling this online form. (More details are given in the link.)

Last date of application is 8th December 2014.

For more details, write to


Support the Montreal Declaration

2014 September 13

The Montreal Declaration on Hospice Palliative Care that was presented on September 11 at the plenary session of the 20th International Congress on Palliative Care at Montreal, Canada, calls on the UN to include hospice palliative care in the UN Sustainable Development goals.

To read this declaration and to sign your support, visit:

How “high-tech” is too high-tech in palliative care?

2014 September 12

Dr Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, shares his experience in China:

There were 33 inpatients in the wards of palliative care at West China Fourth Hospital of Sichuan University. Perfectly neat and well appointed, the place had an unquestionably professional look. All patient data were electronic; and the staff – 11 physicians, 24 nurses, a social worker and a driver – looked competent. It was a privilege to go around with Professor Jinxiang Li and team, and what stays uppermost in my mind is the look on Mr Chan’s (not his real name) face, as he looked up from amidst the several tubes and cables that were around him.

Mr Chan was not alone. Many of the patients had multiple channel monitors connected to them, and total parenteral nutrition being given. It is easy to dismiss it all as too high-tech. But if we go deeper, there is food for thought there.

Dr Jinxiang Li

Dr Jinxiang Li

Often, palliative care is seen by patients and families as giving up hope. It should not be that way; but that is the way it turns out to be. What we see too often around us is that the patient is on high-tech aggressive oncology care one day and suddenly the next, he is stripped of it all and sent to passive inactivity as he sees it. The situation is not easy for a patient or family to accept. Should there not be an easier transition as Professor Li provides? If the person has been on aggressive care and desires to continue it, is it reasonable to expect him to give it all up on one day? Would he not need more time? It is unlikely that the busy oncology unit can facilitate the transition.

Maybe, if the palliative care unit is willing to accept the patient with whatever is going on, and then gradually facilitate transition and acceptance, perhaps things would be easier on the patient and on the family?

May be we should appreciate that Professor Li is trying out something new, and see if there are lessons to be learned there.

Thank you, Professor Li, for the privilege of being able to study your palliative care unit. I do hope we will soon see the day when palliative care reaches the whole of China. Best Wishes for that.


Seeking your support in bringing attention to palliative care for children

2014 September 12

Moonshine Movies, the producers of Life Before Death, seek support for a follow-up film called “Little Stars” about palliative care for children. “Life Before Death” is an award winning documentary series that brought pain relief and palliative care to the attention of the world.

“We’ve travelled far and wide to capture the amazing stories of young people living with potentially life-limiting illnesses who are achieving amazing things with the support of their palliative care teams. For those receiving this care, the results are extraordinary. However, there are 20 million young people who need this care but access remains an issue (ICPCN). Now, we need your help to finish the project in time for its World Premiere at the World Cancer Congress this December. Even a small contribution can make a huge difference.”

To find out more and see a sneak preview visit the Indiegogo Campaign Site at

To learn more about the project please visit

Little Stars