Published on: December 1, 2016

Dear Friends,

Good News! Karnataka unveils palliative care policy

india-map-with-statesKarnataka becomes the third state in India (following Kerala in 2008 and Maharashtra in June 2013), to have its own palliative care policy.

Please see the news in the Times of India: Karnataka Unveils Palliative Care Policy

Congratulations to the pioneers behind this great development including Dr Linge Gowda, Dr Ramamani and Dr Flt Lt Balasubramoniam.

Dr Robert Twycross’s visit


What a day! All of us sat enthralled as Dr Robert Twycross’ analytical words flowed, gently challenging thoughts and guiding us to be better doctors and human beings. Thank you for being co-hosts with Pallium India, IMA Kerala and Consortium of Palliative care units of Ernakulam District at the refresher course in Palliative medicine at CIAL Convention Centre, Kochi, on November 12, 2016.

A day earlier, Dr Twycross was in Trivandrum at Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS), conducting case discussions and getting to know the place. Prior to that, he had spent time in Bengaluru, in the process inaugurating the Karnataka Government’s State palliative care policy. He also paid a visit to Vellore.

Dr Twycross had mentored almost all of the first generation palliative care physicians in the country. He used to visit twice a year, staying in India for a month each time. He would teach in the USA to earn the money for his voluntary work and related expenses in India.

Thank you Dr Robert Twycross and Deidre – not only for the day, but also for the teaching, mentoring through more than a quarter of a century. You have touched hundreds of thousands of lives in India through your teaching.


Dr M. R. Rajagopal writes:

echo-delhi-dr-nandini-et-alI asked Dr Nandini Vallath, Palliative Medicine consultant at Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences, what she thought of the ECHO program. I wanted it in one sentence.

“Generosity of heart, distilled wisdom and technology that transcends the world”, she said.

Four of us, Dr Nandini, Dr Sreedevi, Mr G S Manoj and myself, had attended the ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) immersion program at New Delhi on 8, 9, 10 November 2016.

What ECHO achieves is what Tagore envisioned in his Heaven of freedom, “Where knowledge is free”. Created by Dr Sanjeev Arora from Albuquerque, USA, it trains professionals in many skills that ordinarily are the domain of super-specialists. “Moving knowledge, not patients” is how they describe this. Like in many parts of the world, many in India, including NIMHANS, use it successfully.

Thank you for this opportunity, Dr Arora and colleagues.

People’s representative asks IMA to work for palliative care access.


Mr Anwar Sadat, member of the legislative assembly from Aluva, in his inaugural address on 13 November 2016, repeatedly exhorted Kerala State Branch of Indian Medical Association (IMA) to work towards improved access to palliative care.

The previous day, IMA had hosted a successful refresher course in palliative care in which the major attraction was the presence of Dr Robert Twycross, the palliative care guru.

We look forward to working with IMA Kerala under the presidency of Dr V G Pradeepkumar to fulfil the exhortation of the MLA.

Help Paint Pallium!


Pallium India turns 13 this December! Here’s what Pallium India’s volunteer Bob Walley and his enthusiastic team have planned for the Birthday. You can help! Please read Bob’s message below:

Its Pallium India’s 13th birthday in a few days!
Pallium is an amazing palliative care charity that only survives on donations from kind people around India and beyond that keep it going.
But the building is looking a bit dilapidated…
So we are hoping to slap a bit of paint around the place, paint a few murals and generally brighten up the Hospice for the many patients that come in each week.
But we need YOUR help!
We need paint to do this, and so have set up a funding page below.
Please share around and pop a few sheckles in if you can.
Anything you can give will make a BIG difference.

Click here:

Sangeetha Sandhya 2017


Sangeetha Sandhya 2017, a musical feast organized by Heart Care Foundation and Pallium India, was held on October 30th at Gokulam Convention Centre, Kochi. The program was led by M. Jayachandran, the famous music composer and singer. The proceeds from this program go to the patient care activities of Heart Care Foundation and Pallium India. Click here for the photos of the event:
Flowers channel will be telecasting it soon. To see an one-minute introductory video please go to

The triumph of human spirit: Jyothi Kumar takes off

jyothikumar-art-school-smDr M. R. Rajagopal writes:

Some people command your respect. I could not avoid an inferiority complex as I sat next to 4 people on wheelchairs. How I wish I had half their strength to overcome difficulties and to move forward! Jyothi Kumar was formally opening his school – the usual invocation, lighting the lamp, inaugural speeches. Nothing unusual there. What was unusual was Jyothi Kumar’s courage, initiative and enthusiasm. This was his very own art school.

Jyothi Kumar’s story is truly inspiring. From despair after finding himself a paraplegic young man following a fall, Dr Sreekala and her colleagues at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Medical Collage Hospital, Trivandrum, not only gave him physiotherapy; they gave him strength of a different kind. His own indomitable spirit overcame his despair. He is a multi- faceted personality – poet, author, artist – all rolled into one. Pallium India’s half way home (in which the department of social justice of Government of Kerala is our partner) had the good fortune to have Jyothi among the group for a month or more.

You have the ability and the courage, Jyothi. They will be difficulties; but they are there to overcome, as you would say. Best wishes!

Thank you, Ms Johanna Ralston Lamb


Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute was privileged to have an esteemed guest on 18 November 2016- Ms Johanna Ralston Lamb.

She is currently the CEO of World Heart Federation and has a wealth of experience in the health sector.

Thank you for your visit, Johanna, and thank you for all your good wishes and advice.

Congratulations Justeena and Praveena!

justeena-smpraveena-smPallium India is so pleased that two great friends of palliative care are winners of the Media Person of the Year Award from Indian Medical Association (Kerala) – Justeena of Manorama News and Praveena of Asianet News television channels.

It is not just that they have advocated for palliative care through the news channels several times; when they come across the story of a person in suffering who needs care, they have always got in touch with us and connected them with us.

We are pleased that in the majority of those situations, we could help those patients and families.

Congratulations, Justeena and Praveena and thank you for all that you do.

Dr Rajagopal honored with Sri Sathya Sai Award

complete-panelIn an elegant function at Satya Sai Grana in Muddanahalli, Karnataka, Pallium India’s chairman Dr M. R. Rajagopal was in august company as he received the Human Excellence Award for Health on 23 November 2016.

The purse of Rs.5 lakhs goes to Pallium India for relieving the suffering of the people whom we serve.

From all of us at Pallium India, thank you Satya Sai Lok Seva Trust, for the great honour and also for acknowledging the importance of palliative care in health care. We hope this gesture of yours will lead to better integration of palliative as part of health care.

Happy coincidences!


10 years back on 19 November, Sheeba joined Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute as a staff nurse. Today she plays the key role of course coordinator.

A year later on the same day, Preetha joined us as office secretary. She is an office executive now.

They are now two pillars of Pallium India – Strong, yet gentle and kind. (If you now ask how can pillars be gentle and kind, we can only react by saying, well, come and see them!)

We were preparing to celebrate the twin anniversaries, and look who drops in! Two dear Kiwis, Raelee Jensen and Chris Solly. Raelee had worked with us during our initial difficult years in Trivandrum, mentoring our nurses and helping to build our capacity. And Chris had helped time and again teaching.

Thank you for being there, dear Sheeba and Preetha, and keep coming back dear Raelee and Chris.

Vacancies (Faculty, M. D. Palliative Medicine) in Kidwai Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru


Dr Linge Gowda, Director of Regional Cancer Centre, Kidwai Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, informs us of openings in their Palliative Medicine department for the following posts.

  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Senior Resident

Associate and Assistant Professors need to be post MD in one of these specialities: General Medicine, Surgery, Radiotherapy, Psychiatry, Paediatrics.

Interested candidates please contact: Dr Prabha. Email: Phone: 9845226581

IAPCON 2017 Photography Contest

image00The IAPCON 2017 photography contest is intended to improve awareness among the public about palliative care.

The theme of the contest is “COMPASSIONATE CARE”. For more details on the contest and to register, please visit:

The deadline to submit your entries for consideration is December 31, 2016.

IAHPC Traveling Scholarships to the EAPC World Congress at Madrid

eapc-madridThe International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) is offering twenty (20) scholarships to support the travel of palliative care workers to attend the 15th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care that will take place in Madrid, Spain on May 18-20, 2017.

The applicants must be:

  • Living in Lower, Lower-Middle and Upper-Middle income categories as per the World Bank income classification data.
  • Active members of IAHPC for 2 or more consecutive years.
  • Working actively in palliative care.
  • Registered as web users at the EAPC database online (free of charge) at EAPC website.
  • Preference will be given to individuals who have not received an IAHPC grant in the past three years, with accepted poster or oral presentations in the Congress.

Discounted registration fees will also be offered to individuals from countries in the Lower and Lower-Middle categories. Winners of the scholarships will benefit from this discount and can apply the scholarship funds to off-set the cost of their travel and accommodations. Additional information about the congress is available in the congress website at EAPC-2017 website.

Deadline to apply is January 15, 2017.

Palliative Care Courses in India

“Palliative care is emerging as a viable option for students looking for careers in healthcare,” writes The Hindu Education Plus dated November 7, 2016.

The article goes on to describe the need and scope of palliative care in India: “The number of patients needing it is currently estimated to be around six million annually. Given the specialisation of skill and professional expertise required to administer palliative care, the industry is expected to grow at approximately 20-25 percent in the near future.”

The institutions where courses are offered include Tata Hospital in Mumbai, TIPS in Thiruvananthapuram, MNJIORCC in Hyderabad, BMCHRC in Jaipur and GCRI in Ahmedabad. Read the complete article in The Hindu.

An Indian Primer of Palliative Care

an-indian-primer-of-palliative-care-smIn 2015, 21 palliative care experts, 18 from various parts of India and 3 from abroad, got together to create a teaching module for palliative care. The result is An Indian Primer of Palliative Care.

We are grateful to the International Association for Study of Pain (IASP), which gave a grant to cover the “Pain” part of the work.

The book is available at ₹250. Anyone within India who is interested to purchase the book, please make the payment through one of the methods mentioned in this page and send us a mail. We shall send it across to you at no extra shipping cost.

Do write to us for information:

Upcoming Events

  • December 10, 2016: SAT Hospital Paediatric Pain and Palliative Care Clinic organizes a get together of children and their families, In Trivandrum.
  • January 2, 2017: One month certificate course in Pain and Palliative Medicine for Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers and Volunteers in Hyderabad, Telengana. Contact:
  • January 15, 2017: Kerala Palliative Care Day.
  • February 27, 2017: Six weeks certificate course for doctors and nurses in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Contact:
  • March 6, 2017: 10 days Foundation Course for doctors at Trivandrum, Kerala. Contact:
  • March 6, 2017: 6 weeks certificate course for doctors and nurses at Trivandrum, Kerala. Contact:
  • June 5, 2017: 10 days Foundation Course for doctors at Trivandrum, Kerala. Contact:
  • June 5, 2017: 6 weeks certificate course for doctors and nurses at Trivandrum, Kerala. Contact:
  • October 14, 2017: International conference on Peri-operative Cancer Care at Jawaharlal Nehru Auditorium AIIMS, New Delhi. Register:

For details on these programs, contact:
Find out more at:

An elite group discusses the way forward for palliative care


Thrissur is often called the cultural capital of Kerala – home to thinkers, artistes and the literary. A group of about 60, their common thread being support for palliative care, got together on 20 November 2016 for the first K V Padmavathy Varasyar memorial lecture. A rich discussion followed, concentrating mainly on the following points:

  1. The objective of the movement should not be just palliative care delivery; but rather, integration with the healthcare system.
  2. The system should look for and be inclusive of the marginalised – particularly women, children and the elderly.
  3. It is important to develop the social capital further and not just be satisfied of the volunteer base that exists today, nevertheless keeping in mind any potential threats like vested interests.

Congratulations Pain and Palliative Care Society of Thrissur and thank you for the invitation to be part of the program.

“Chethana” breaks new ground


Chethana is an initiative of Thrissur Pain and Palliative Care Society aimed at supporting people with chronic kidney disease and their families. Pallium India had the privilege of being part of their get-together on 20 November 2016. The hall was full.

We congratulate Chethana activists on creating this forum to listen to the people who actually are suffering, to identify their problems and to seek solutions. We also request them to take leadership to create a common forum for the whole state so that identical problems and their solutions can be shared, obviating the need for reinventing the wheel. Hopefully, that can evolve to a national initiative.

Jiv Daya Foundation – what an appropriate name!

jdf-meetingJiv Daya Foundation, based in Dallas, USA, had their third review meeting on palliative care, on 5th November, 2016.

This amazing organization does what many funding agencies do not do. They build capacity. They provide basic staff – doctor, nurse, social worker cum data entry operator, and so on – to empower cancer treating facilities to incorporate palliative care into their work.

In a few short years, they already have 25 palliative care projects in various parts of the country.

To consider that they are into several fields like paediatric oncology, maternal health, amputee assistance, child deworming, and Kala Azar treatment, don’t you think that is phenomenal?

Pallium India is proud to be their associate.

International Visitors

We welcome international visitors at Pallium India and appreciate the support from our colleagues around the world. We request that you contact us at least 2 weeks prior to your visit so that we can make the necessary arrangements. Sorry; we would discourage “drop-ins” for fear of the impact on patient care.

We have observership programs for interested professionals and students, collaborative visits, and long term placements. Click here for more information. Contact:

Join Our Facebook Page

Pallium India’s Facebook page has over 5000 Likes. We regularly post articles related to palliative care from around the world. Click here to Like our page! We’re also on Twitter: @palliumindia

image06Palliative Care Information Centre

Contact Pallium India’s Information Centre (9 am to 12 noon) for information related to palliative care and about establishments where such facilities are available in India.

Telephone: +91-9746745497 or E-mail:
Address: Pallium India, Arumana Hospital, Perunthanni, Trivandrum

For more details, please visit:


Chefs on Wheels appear on Kairali TV

chefs-on-wheels-kairaliGopika, Shiju and Sameer, Chefs on wheelchairs were featured in a television show aired by Kairali TV on November 6th based on the Half-way Home run by TIPS, Pallium India. It also featured Jyothikumar, artist and poet, who despite his paraplegia, moves by himself from his wheelchair to his three wheeler, folds the wheelchair and loads it on his vehicle and drives away, inspiring us all the way. The first part of the program telecast on 5th November featured Ashla, who is a quadriplegic, works as Pallium India chairman’s executive assistant.

We are very grateful to Dr Lekshmi Nair, Professor at the Law Academy, Trivandrum, the anchor of the popular show called “Flavours of India” which brings to us tastes from various parts of the country. And of course our thanks are due to the Department of Social Justice of Government of Kerala which funds the project and to The Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology at Kovalam for conducting a free course for our Half-way Home.

And here comes the icing on the cake:

Just as the show was ending on 6th November, came a call offering an electric wheelchair.

Thank you Mr Prabhakaran. We await more such calls!

Watch Flavours of India: Pallium India Part 1: 5th November 2016

Watch Flavours of India: Pallium India Part 2: 6th November 2016

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