Published on: December 25, 2012

Reaching out to the community in Agartala “I want to be a singer”, said 17 year old Moushumi, her face lighting up when asked about her ambition in life. She ran in, and came back with a portfolio containing all the certificates she had won.

We were visiting her grandma at her home in Agartala, the capital of the North-east indian state of Tripura. The elderly woman had advanced cancer. But her pain was being treated with morphine and she was comfortable. The care was being provided by the only palliative care unit in the state – a unit established under “Pallcare India” as a collaborative project between Pallium India and the Regional Cancer Centre at Agartala. The project is funded jointly by Savitri Waney Trust, Farida & Yusuf Hamied Trust and Bruce Davis Trust. A team led by Dr Badhan Janapathy, nurses Rita Saha & Lakshmi Sengupta and guided by Prof Gautam Majumdar provide outpatient, inpatient and home care.

Moushumi’s father wondered aloud about the fate of the family if the team had not reached them. They are not rich. They would have spent all their resources seeking some comfort for the patient. There would have been no money for Moushumi’s education. Now he knows that his mother can be comfortable for the rest of her days. And that Moushumi can pursue her dreams.

Moushumi has promised to let us know when she sings on television first.

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