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.

Martyr to Social Support?

2015 January 27

Rajesh and familyRajesh hopes that someone will come forward to help.

Rajesh, who is seen here with his wife Binu and his two children Adityan (2.5 years) and Abhishek (10 months), has a congenital muscular disorder, which unfortunately, will progressively worsen his muscle power. As of now, he is unable to use his limbs, and needs support for all activities of daily living. His wife cannot work because the children would have no one to care for them.

Several social support schemes have been started by the government in India in the last few years. Rajesh got the benefit of some of them and the net result is that he is now in danger of being thrown out of his home. We do not know of any poor homes that would take in such a whole family and care for them. Where would they go? We fervently hope that someone will take the trouble to analyse what has been done and to measure the outcome.

Take Rajesh’s case. He applied for a loan and got it sanctioned from a bank. He started a small business – a shop. It was thriving, and he used all the profit to pay the loan back. That was perhaps for about a year and then, progressive deterioration of his muscle strength forced him to give up the shop. By that time, Binu was already a mother and, having to look after both the husband and the child, she was unable to go for any work. They had to live on hand-outs. The monthly instalments for the loan lapsed and now, they are in risk of losing the home. The bank waived part of the loan, but insists on he repaying the rest of it. Time and again, we see the same pattern. Very poor people being offered loans, which eventually destroy the whole family.

More about social support: Rajesh had a home in the middle of paddy fields, which would flood every monsoon season, making it very difficult for him to live in. The local self-government institution gave him a new plot of land, and gave a small amount of money. With the support of friends, he built a humble house and moved. In the process, he lost the old home where poor people like him had lived around him and there had been support from within the community. In the new place, the affluent people who live around him alienate him, and he is a lonely stranger. The support system from within the community has failed.

Pallium India is offering him what little support we can. Rajesh desired that we should give visibility to his plight and hence, on his insistence, we are showing his picture here. Rajesh hopes that someone will come forward to help till the children are grown up enough to go to school so that Binu would have some hope of finding employment. Rajesh, we admire your courage and your ability to smile even in the face of adversities. We promise to continue to do what we can and wish you and family the best.

Thank you, FOKANA, for your support

2015 January 27

FokanaFOKANA, The Federation of Kerala Associations in North America, had their annual convention at Kottayam on 24 January, 2015. It was a day full of activities. In the picture, you can see Dr. M. V. Pillai, a great humanist, writer and social activist and an American of Kerala origin, speaking at the health seminar on that day.

FOKANA very kindly gave a handsome donation to Pallium India. Thank you very much, Mr John P John (President), Mr Vinod K.R.K (Secretary) and all at FOKANA for your kind support and your humanity.

The Governor of Kerala takes one giant step forward

2015 January 25

Last November, George Thomas and Ashla Rani had approached the Honourable Governor of Kerala, P. Sathasivam, to request his support in making Thiruvananthapuram a wheelchair-friendly city. He promised to do what he can. Yesterday, the Honourable Governor inaugurated the wheelchair pathway at the Rajbhavan, and he invited George and Ashla to be present at the occasion.

We thank you, Your Excellency. Few leaders would have this kind of sensitivity about a request from a couple of humble individuals.

Rajbhavan

 

For more pictures of the event, visit our Facebook page.

 

Happy Birthday, Sarasu

2015 January 24

When Pallium India’s home care team visits the Cheshire Home at Trivandrum periodically to care for a few of the wheelchair-bound people who reside there, they also have the pleasure of meeting up with a celebrity who is not wheelchair-bound. Sarasu is not wheelchair-bound, because she is not even able to sit up. She had polio myelitis at the age of five and since then, has been living in this home. And being creative.

Sarasu

An author of numerous books, she does all her writing while lying on her stomach. A documentary based on her life recently won a national award – “With a Life Being”.

Happy Birthday, Sarasu! We wish you many happy returns of the day and to a life which continues to inspire others.

Pallium India participates in “Run Kerala Run” at Trivandrum

2015 January 21

RKR 2Seven wheelchair-bound people and twenty-five volunteers represented Pallium India in Run Kerala Run on January 20 at Trivandrum, an event organized in support of National Games Kerala 2015.

On January 20 at 10.30 PM, Ashla Rani, Preetha, Sindhu, Shameena, Jyothi Kumar, Sameer and Radhakrishnan on their wheelchairs joined the marathon from Eanchakkal to Chakka, demonstrating yet again that if only we allow them to, people on wheelchair can be major contributors to society.

 

RKR

Pallium India takes care of over 60 wheelchair-bound people in Trivandrum and with them, has been working towards making Trivandrum a wheelchair-friendly city.

(Photos: Danny Shaji and Giris Ambadi)

For more pictures of the event, visit our Facebook page.