Ashla Rani, Pallium India’s volunteer, writes:
“I think you should accept it gracefully,” said Dr Rajagopal, when someone expressed interest in helping me financially. That was the first time anyone had suggested to me the idea of “accepting help gracefully”. Those were my initial days in Pallium India.
In a recent TED video, Michele L. Sullivan describes how “Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness“. As a person who asks for and receives help from several others on a day-to-day basis, Dr Rajagopal’s and Michele Sullivan’s words have had a huge impact in my life. It takes a lot of courage to accept my helplessness and ask for assistance, whether it is to my best friend or to a stranger. In fact, it takes more courage to accept each one of them with grace and to be grateful at the end of the day for all the help received. And believe me, you are peaceful and your life is beautiful when you are ready to ask for help and accept it gracefully when offered.
Michele has rightly said that empathy is just a concept. The only shoes you can truly walk in are your own. We are all a part of each other’s support networks. With compassion, courage and understanding, we can walk side by side and support one another…
Please watch Michele Sullivan’s talk here: Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness
This is a feature film length biopic that uses the narrative of Dr. M R Rajagopal to shine a light on the existing plight of people in India and other developing countries in dire need of palliative care.
It is a powerful depiction of not just what the Hippocratic oath calls upon the medical community to do, but also challenges the increasingly profit-centric systems and the erosion of ethics that have transformed what should be ‘health care’ into the ‘health industry’.
Hippocratic’s emphasis is on access to palliative care, social justice and equitable healthcare. It is also a celebration of the indomitable human spirit, and the power that we as an evolving society wield to lift up our fellow humans from the depths of despair and darkness, into a life of dignity, free of pain.
Hippocratic is the work of Australia-based Moonshine Agency, directed and produced by Mike Hill.
Dr. Rajagopal has just completed a screening tour across Australia, where the film has been warmly received, amongst many accolades. The film is being screened in different countries. Find a location near you: http://hippocraticfilm.com/see-the-film/
Here are some reviews:
The Hippocratic speaking tour kicks off in India in January 2018. If you would like to host a screening in your city, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For DVD online orders: https://store.moonshine.agency/products/hippocratic-dvd. For Video on Demand: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/hippocratic
Our world will no more be a confined place to live, for people with disability – if we all set our hearts to it.
Three patients under rehabilitation in Pallium India’s “half-way home” enjoyed an evening seeing beautiful flowers, birds, animals and many other fellow beings. This could not have been possible without a wheelchair friendly vehicle donated by State Bank of India (SBI). The happiness that springs in their eyes tells us how much and how long they missed all such lovely things in life. One of the patients, with her husband and little one, was so worried to sit for more than a few minutes but the walk made her confident enough to sit for quite long and she is trying to do her activities of daily living. As a social worker – indeed, as a human being – I am very glad that I could also be a part of this change that made her laugh and try.
The little we are able to do to make their days brighter is something we cherish as an organization. We care for you and we are always with you, we will not restrict you because we respect you.
Thanks to all my colleagues for making this happen; and I await more such memorable days.
This wheelchair-friendly van was donated to Pallium India by State Bank of India on July 1st, 2017, as part of their CSR activities. In the words of Ashla Rani, volunteer for Pallium India, (who is featured in this video) “I always had people around me to lift me and my wheelchair to a car and to take me wherever I wanted to go. But now, this vehicle gives me the pleasure of wheeling myself into it without worrying about hurting someone’s back. The difference is huge! Yes, happy to be cared, happier to be more independent.”
Thank you, SBI, for this very valuable gift.
Pallium India celebrated World Palliative Care Day with a get-together of patients and families at Government Youth Hostel, Trivandrum. Famous playback singer G Venugopal inaugurated the function and mesmerised the audience with his songs. The event, titled “Thalolam 2017” was a full-day program and was attended by people who are wheelchair bound or suffering from life limiting diseases, and their families.
Dr. Biju Prabhakar IAS, Secretary, Social justice department, delivered the keynote address. Kalyan Ram, DGM, State Bank of India and Dr. C Mohanan Pallium India trustee spoke on the occasion. After lunch, there were cultural programs by patients, Mentalism show by Preeth Azheekkode and performace by Balloon Artiste Shijina Preeth.
Our sincere gratitude to everyone who stood with us and supported us.
For more information on the importance of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, please visit: http://www.thewhpca.org/world-hospice-and-palliative-care-day
One of South India’s leading deemed universities, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV), Puducherry, has started the process of incorporating palliative care into its undergraduate medical curriculum.
We are certain that this would encourage all such institutions to bring in changes that allow professionals to work with more humaneness. Pallium India is proud to collaborate with Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth for this noble cause.
As per Human Rights Watch report, ‘Unbearable Pain, India’s Obligation to Ensure Palliative Care’ (2009), only 5 out of 300 medical colleges in India have integrated some instruction on palliative care into their curricula. Capacity building through palliative care education is also one of the recommendations by WHO. Palliative care approach envisages application of palliative care principles appropriately into practice by healthcare professionals.
We could firmly say that students of SBV are already into palliative care – if wall paintings in their palliative care ward and volunteering works by students are anything to go by. If SBV train students to make their patients smile wholeheartedly, it will be difficult for other students to compete with them without this important training! Moreover, life threatening conditions, dying, end-of-life care and death cannot be ignored anymore.