Published on: January 1, 2021

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Dear Friend,

It feels almost too trite to say that 2020 was an unforgettable year.

It brought with it so much darkness and despair, that at times it felt like an endless tunnel with no light in sight. But pinpricks of light did emerge. Slowly at first, then brightening steadily, till our vision was restored and colours re-emerged in the gloom.

At the Pallium India headquarters in Trivandrum, we are immeasurably proud of our team that refused to stall services even for a few hours. We did momentarily grapple with the initial confusion, unaccustomed to this magnitude of sudden chaos, but members of our team rallied together, held one another’s hand and made their way forward.

Eight of our dear team members came down with COVID19. We rejoice at their full recovery. 

As older volunteers could no longer venture out and (very reluctantly) stayed home, we put out a call for young people between the ages of 20 and 40 who owned automobiles to come forward and help us bridge the service gap. We had to catch our breath in happy astonishment as ninety people signed up in 24 hours. After a brief orientation to palliative care, these incredible humans proceeded to travel significant distances to distribute medicines, supplies and food kits. A few amongst them who were trained as lab technicians collected blood samples and carried out BP checks. To watch these selfless youngsters in action was to have our faith in the future restored.

Right through the lockdown we remained in touch with all our patients and families through a helpline, and teams continued to be deployed to attend to the most frail and vulnerable.

Read more about the Year That Was…

People with disabilities are invisible unless you choose to see them.

Pallium India advocates for inclusion of people with disability in the ambit of palliative care to achieve universal health coverage

Health for all: protect everyone” is the theme of this year’s Universal Health Coverage day, the 12th of December.

Releasing Pallium India’s white paper on “Rearticulating Care: Disability and Palliative Care in Low Middle Income Countries (LMICs)”, Ms Ashla Rani, trustee of Pallium India and Kerala Youth Icon 2017 said “I live with quadriplegia and use a wheelchair for mobility. I am lucky to be actually living in a healthcare institution. But most people with disability were in serious trouble during lockdown. Access to medicines and healthcare stopped, particularly for those with mobility issues. Income stopped; many were in partial starvation.”

Read more

Also read: Society’s moral test and how we treat people with disabilities – Dr Rajagopal writes

Video of the Month

Webinar: Palliative Care – A Bridge to Universal Health Coverage

Dr Rajam Iyer, Dr Roop Gursahani, Ms Ashla Rani and Mr Harsh Vardhan Sahni in conversation with Ms Smriti Rana on Universal Health Coverage Day, Dec 12, 2020 on the topic “Palliative Care – A Bridge to Universal Health Coverage”.

Click to view the video:

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WHO reveals leading causes of death and disability worldwide: 2000-2019

Pallium India celebrates 17th birthday

Click here to see more photographs from the program:

A day of celebration for and with People With Disabilities

On the 5th of December, 2020, Pallium India organized a virtual event to celebrate International Day of People With Disabilities (IDPWD). There was a total of 60 participants including individuals with physical, mental, speech and hearing disabilities. Mr B. S. Vinayachandran of National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) provided sign language interpretation for the whole event. Manisha Mary Marshall writes.

To commemorate International Day Of People With Disabilities, Pallium India joined hands with Indus Cycling Embassy (ICE), Prakash P Gopinath – Bicycle Mayor of Trivandrum and RIDE4GREEN for a morning cycle ride, on December 3, 2020. The ride was flagged off by volunteer Prakash Samuel.

The Lancet Medical Journal features the work of Pallium India through this photo by Ramya Sampath, titled “Mobility“:

Also read this article by Ramya published in JAMA Network: Always more to be done

“We entered a room at the end of the corridor. I heard some of the details—name, diagnosis, and key aspects of the medical history—but I froze when I saw his face. His eyes, even in his delirium, were piercing, particularly under the thick, elegant arch of his long eyebrows. The resemblance to my father was uncanny.”

Improving access and quality of palliative care in Kerala: A cross-sectional study of providers in routine practice

Studying 100 Government palliative care providers & 100 Non-Government sector, it was observed that patient-reports of pain was  documented only in 21% of Government and 65% of non-government providers. None of the Government and only 36% of NGO palliative care providers were able to prescribe oral morphine. Read more about this study: Improving access and quality of palliative care in Kerala: A cross-sectional study of providers in routine practice


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For more information on any of these, write to:

Help is just a phone call away.

The current pandemic has brought with it a cloud of grief, and many of us are not equipped with the tools to deal with it.

If you have lost a loved one, if you are finding it hard to cope, if you are feeling sad, angry or lonely, do call us.

+91 8707447046

Do share this with your friends who might need emotional support.

Vacancy in Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre for full-time Palliative Care Physician

Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Silchar, Assam, invites applications to the post of full-time Palliative Care Physician. Those interested may send their updated CV to the Director Dr Ravi Kannan at along with a covering letter to express their interest, suitability for the post and alignment of this role with their general career vision.  Click here to read more about the opening.

Co-Creating health with communities

“A glaring omission from the WHO’s health system building blocks was the community. It was perceived as a passive recipient of the health system’s services and not part of it,” writes Dr K Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). Read:


First of all, I feel very loved: Humanism and Cancer Care in South India

“I witnessed untold care and compassion delivered to a young boy dying at home with painful bone metastases. I witnessed the joy that the team’s visit brought to a socially isolated man with Parkinson disease.”

Read this article by Christopher M. Booth about his visit to Kerala and working with Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) Trivandrum & Pallium India.

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