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The Hidden World of Women Caregivers

2018 December 12

Krishnaraj Nambiar, Volunteer Pallium India and FOMAA Project Team Member, writes:

Her aged husband has been paralysed following a Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA). A second tragedy followed, when she lost her young son who was her only support.

Her husband is a paraplegic. She sets an alarm at night to turn him in bed every two hours so that he doesn’t get bed sores.

She lives alone with her husband who is a heart patient and less mobile following a spinal injury. She has to leave her house at 5 a.m. to support her ailing husband to run her tea shop.

Her son (aged 34) and daughter (aged 36) are completely bedridden since the last 30 years. Her husband is a coolie.

These were the stories of four women caregivers that were presented in the documentary titled “Support-A different story” by Ms.Beena Paul and Ms,Raakhee, at the workshop on the ‘Hidden World of Women Care Givers’, organized by Women’s wing of Federation of Malayalees Association of Americas (FOMAA) and Pallium India, on 3 December, 2018 at Mannam memorial Hall, Trivandrum. About 50 care givers and a few of their family members, as well as Pallium India’s volunteers and invited guests from various fields attended the workshop.

Ms. Mangala Francis, Pallium India’s volunteer and coordinator of the FOMAA project, who welcomed the participants explained that the objective of the workshop was to bring together women care givers associated with Pallium India, provide them with a forum, listen to the challenges they face and acknowledge their contribution.

Pallium India, with the funds from FOMAA, provides support to women caregivers to start income generation activities. The workshop was part of Pallium India’s efforts to systematise its work with women caregivers and create awareness about the hidden world of women caregivers who globally account for 80% of all caregivers.

Following the documentary screening, Ashla Rani reflected on her experience as a person receiving care, especially from her mother. Ashla appealed for recognition of care givers, particularly women, whose services are unacknowledged. Ms. Reshmi spoke as a care giver and highlighted the travails faced by women in providing care and working to earn an income to run the family.

The next segment included a panel. Ms.Sonia George from the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) described the work of SEWA for the protection of rights of self-employed women. She stressed that women care givers should come together to break their isolation and should consider their problems as a social issue. Dr. Sreedevi from Pallium India, based on her daily experience in dealing with care givers, said that the role played by women care givers are taken as normal and no one acknowledges their immense sacrifice. She suggested that assistance should be provided to women care givers to enable them to take a break from their routine. Ms. Asha from Kerala Mahila Samakhya Society spoke about her work with marginalised women particularly with regard to violence faced by them and how this workshop has made her reflect about the issue of women care givers. Ms.Asha Nair from the Women’s Development Corporation (WDC) explained various schemes conducted by WDC and promised to include women care givers in their projects and programmes.

The panel presentation was followed by an open discussion moderated by Ms. Jyothi Krishnan (Independent researcher/consultant). Several women caregivers narrated their experiences, some were choking with emotion as they spoke and the audience were overwhelmed by their ordeal. A few also requested help to start a grocery, buy a sewing machine etc. Dr.Sulochana, former Professor from the Kerala Agricultural College, shared information about her NGO named ADISHA which is providing training to women to grow vegetables and mushroom cultivation.

Ms. Jyothi summarised the main points made by the panellists and the interventions from the participants. She said that there must be dissemination of information to the beneficiaries of their entitlements in various government schemes. She was sceptical if a role reversal would take place in society of men sharing the woman’s burden and added that it was society’s responsibility to ensure that happens. The main message she conveyed was regarding the need for providing not just material support to women caregivers but ensuring that the society acknowledges their role and contribution. She also reaffirmed a suggestion made from the floor for conducting a systematic study of problems faced by women care givers and the role of various governmental and non-governmental agencies in mitigating them.

The workshop was also attended by Mr.Jain Kannanchamparambil, Joint Treasurer of FOMAA . He appreciated the efforts made by Pallium India to support women care givers and the organization of the workshop on the subject.

The session ended with a vote of thanks from Lijimol of Pallium India. The workshop was compered by Ms. Shobana Kumari, a Pallium India volunteer.

Ashla, Liji and Vrinda win first prize

2018 December 11

Congratulations to Ashla Rani, Liji MPH and Vrinda MSW – it is not a small achievement to win the first prize for the best presentation, under the theme “Rehabilitation of persons with disabilities: Vocational Employment and Placement” at the 6th annual national seminar organized by Centre of Excellence for Disability Studies, at Thiruvananthapuram on 4th December 2018.

But even more importantly, congratulations to you for all that you have done to transform so many lives so miraculously. The casual reader may not realise what an amazing difference you have made to so many human lives.

Buy this calendar featuring 12 superwomen!

2018 December 11

If there is one wall calendar or desk calendar that you want to buy for the new year, let it be this one.

12 real women of substance are featured in each month. 12 superwomen who overcame disabilities to make this world a better place for the differently-abled.

To order your copy, please write to or call +91 73977 00482 or +91 88709 55111.

Cost ₹300/- (plus shipping). Delivery within Coimbatore will be free of cost.

Any profit out of the sale of this calendar will go towards support of the differently abled through Swarga foundation, Coimbatore.

To know more about Swarga Foundation, visit

I'm Special Calendar 2019

India's 12 most beautiful and inspiring women featured in the I'm Special Calendar 2019 by Swarga Foundation. Please share and support.To order your copy, please write to or call +91 73977 00482 or +91 88709 55111 for queries.To know more about our work visit Rs. 300/- plus shipping extra. Delivery within Coimbatore for free of cost. Can be printed with your company branding on the calendar.Your contributions will help transform the lives of people with disabilities.

Posted by Swarga Foundation on Friday, October 5, 2018


‘Pratheeksha’ get-together at Magic Planet

2018 December 10

Every year in December, “Pratheeksha” SAT Pediatric Palliative Care Clinic, Pediatric Neurology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department and Pallium India organize an annual get-together for children receiving care, and their families. This year, on December 8, a fun-filled visit was arranged to Magic Planet, the magic-themed park at Trivandrum, as part of the clinic’s 7th anniversary celebrations.

Pratheeksha clinic takes care of children with life-limiting health conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, developmental delay, chronic kidney disease and juvenile arthritis.

For more photos from the event, please visit:

‘Hippocratic’ screened at World Congress on Bioethics

2018 December 6

14th World Congress on Bioethics opened at St John’s Medical College, Bengaluru on 5 December 2018.

(Image: Dr Sunil K Pandya, the Bioethics pioneer of India, lighting the lamp at the opening of the congress)

The screening of “Hippocratic” was one of the features of the congress on the first day. Thank you, everyone who participated in the screening.

Sorry we did not have enough discs on sale for all who asked for it. If you would like a disc, please write to if you want it within India. For anyone outside India, please visit