“Humanity to infinity”
A phrase we were introduced to by Mhoira Leng who had come across it in her work in conflict riddled Gaza, from those who suffer in ways most of us cannot even fathom – showing us that humanity and love have always been and always will be the only answer to unspeakable tragedy.
At the annual international palliative care conference this year, we saw the planting of a new seed – the first steps in creating a Task Force for palliative care in humanitarian aid and emergency settings in the Indian context.
Illness can bring unimaginable suffering. There is indescribable horror when there is a disaster, be it natural or manmade. Bring those two together and it is almost too much to bear.
But rather than look away, it is now more than ever that we really need to examine the human condition in all its raging, despairing, clawing misery, and meet it with compassion.
The relief efforts in the aftermath of the massive earthquake in Nepal, the stories from Sudan and Gaza, and other accounts from Kerala were profoundly moving. Learning about the work done by the Border Security Force every year in Assam when the Brahmaputra river floods was an eye-opening experience.
And witnessing palliative care providers and defence personnel come together to talk about joining hands for the alleviation of suffering was unexpected, uplifting and deeply restorative.
“Humanity to Infinity.”
In the darkest of times. In the most wounded places.
Thank you Dr. Mhoira Leng, Dr. Chitra Venkatesh and Dr. Jenifer Mugesh for organising the session. Thanks to Mr. Noordeen, Dr. Dan Munday, Dr. Athul Joseph Manuel for wonderful presentations. We were privileged to talk about our own work in Alapuzha District of Kerala after the 2018 floods, a project that was generously supported by Cipla Foundation.
Special thank you to Dr. Savita Butola for bringing in her colleagues from the BSF – Suresh Kumar Commandant, Ftr HQ BSF Guwahati and Ratish Kumar, AC(Law). We salute them.