Published on: February 13, 2020

Mr Pranab Kumar Basu, a volunteer for Eastern India Palliative Care (EIPC), visited Pallium India for two days in January 2020. He shares his experience:

My two-day visit to Pallium India has touched me profoundly and enriched my mind. On Day 1 (24 January), Project Co-ordinator Rajalekshmi Balu introduced me to the members of the sweet family of Pallium India, and I was enthralled by their hospitality. I was honoured to be a part of the weekly team meeting for review of the works done in different spheres by the volunteers, medical social workers, nurses, social workers, doctors, and co-ordinators. I was asked to introduce myself. I told the team that I am a volunteer who counsels terminal cancer patients and families registered at Eastern India Palliative Care (EIPC), Barrackpore, WB.

Afterwards, I met medical social workers, volunteers, National Outreach Team, project officer, nursing in charge, and, through sharing, I learned a lot. I had a discussion with Dr Chandrika Rajagopal and Dr Sunil Kumar regarding the protocol of morphine advised to terminal cancer patients. In noble social work there is no value for “I”. Instead, “We” plays a vital role. Pallium India demonstrates the message that “Together we can make a change”.

The second day (25 January) was another memorable day for me. I was thrilled to bits to be one of the members of the interdisciplinary home care team visiting Palode locality. OP was arranged to examine the patients by the doctor, and to provide free medicines. The others proceeded to visit patients at home. Blood pressure, sugar level, pulse rate were examined by the trained senior nurse, who talked to the patients and the primary caregiver about the well-being and advised how to provide better quality of life with dignity. Free medicines were provided. I was fascinated to note that language was not a barrier: I was able to participate actively in conversations with the patient, without knowing Malayalam.

Being a septuagenarian, I wonder how I got so much energy, without feeling tired from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., even trekking along the undulating terrain; I believe I was imbued with the enthusiasm of team Pallium India.

(Image: Mr Pranab Basu, right, with Mr Nandu and Mr K N Nair of Pallium India)