Smriti Rana, Program Director for Pallium India’s Children’s Palliative Care Project, writes:
On September 22 2015, we hosted our first ever Children’s Palliative Care birthday party at the Thapovan Heritage Home, Kovalam. From here on, we will host 4 such parties a year and celebrate the lives of our youngest, bravest patients and their extraordinary families. Each child and sibling was given a present after we asked them and their parents what they would like, instead of us choosing what we thought appropriate.
This would not have been possible without the generous contributions made by 13 very special people, some of whom insisted on giving double the ask. Thank you for sending across resources, making party decor for us from scratch, sending things you thought we might need from other countries and carrying things from one city to another for us. There are no words that can ever adequately convey the depth of our gratitude.
I want to tell you something else here: the owner of the resort joined us halfway through, made a further contribution of his own and then presented us with an additional envelope. This envelope contained donations collected by the service staff there as a gesture of solidarity and support for our children.
And then… When the time came to settle the bill with them, we were told there was none. This was after the resort fed 65 people some great food, gave us the whole place to use, spared every staff member for anything we might have needed, gave us a room for some of the sicker children to rest…and did all of this with big smiles and enthusiasm.
Oh wait. Before you think that was it, it turns out that it might very well be the last season for this beautiful resort because their land is being acquired to make room for the proposed port in the area. At a time when most people would be worried for their jobs and future, these people chose to share what they had with us and told us that this was probably the best farewell event for them as well.
I hope that restores some of your faith in humanity because it certainly overwhelmed us all, brought us to tears and cracked our hearts further wide open. Send your love and good wishes to these beautiful people at Thapovan. They only deserve good things to happen for them.
The funds that have exceeded the budget have been placed in a reserve fund for our children, as specifically requested by all our contributors.
To our donors, our well-wishers, supporters, volunteers and friends, from all of us at Pallium India – all our love and infinite gratitude.