Published on: September 30, 2021

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Dear friends,

“Leave no one behind”: World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.

It is good to dream big, to not feel threatened by the enormity of the task before us, but to keep chipping away at overcoming barriers. 

84% of the global population, the low and middle income world, has next-to-no access to palliative care. They ARE left behind. What are we doing about it except for living with a blind faith that the problem would have vanished one fine morning?

Let us dare open our eyes and think on October 9: How do we reach the 61 million human beings who are left behind with no access to palliative care today?

Read more about World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. Please take a look at the campaign toolkit from World Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA).

Giant leap in palliative care education in India.

Till last year, opportunities for formal postgraduate education in palliative care in India used to be limited to 10 doctors every year for a country of 1.3 billion people!

Dr Sushma Bhatnagar informs us that from this year, the number rises to 23 (14 for MD and 9 for DNB – Diplomate of National Board of Examinations – a new course being sanctioned this month).

The details of institutions are given here. Thank you Dr Sushma for providing this list.

Great way to celebrate World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.

Obituary: Mr Keshav Desiraju

Pallium India is deeply grieved by the death of Mr Keshav Desiraju, former Principal Secretary of Government of India, grandson of the first vice-president of India Dr S Radhakrishnan and a trustee of Pallium India. He died following a heart attack, on September 5, 2021.

May his soul rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.

Please read Dr Rajagopal’s note on Shri Keshav Desiraju.

Also read:

Keshav Desiraju: Architect of India’s mental health policy – the Hindu Frontline

Remembering Keshav Desiraju: The bureaucrat who fought for the disabled – Jo Chopra writes in the Indian Express

One more step towards integration of palliative care into oncology practice:

Dr Ashok Komaranchath and Dr Aju Mathew report in American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) news about the virtual course conducted jointly by Pallium India and National Cancer Grid (NCG).

“The impact of such an online course in equipping doctors to provide quality care is tremendous,” say the authors.

Click here to read: Pain Management for Oncologists: Outcomes of an Online Course

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Register now for Aarohan-3: a unique program to improve palliative care awareness and access

Last date to register: October 5, 2021

Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS, Pallium India) announces the commencement of Aarohan-III, the third edition of Aarohan – Giving Voice to Lived Experiences.

Aarohan is a FREE online course for beneficiaries of Palliative Care, those who have lived experience of illness, disability or caregiving. Health care workers are also welcome to join.

Visit this page for more information: 

Register now:

Queries? Contact:

Nilaamazha – A Stephen Devassy Show

Pallium India joins hands with KAW Seattle, Care & Share, Stand With Kerala and Dallas Ace Lions Club to bring you

“Nilaamazha – A Stephen Devassy Show”

a fundraiser event that will be live streamed on Oct 1, 2021 at 6:30PM PST (Oct 2, 7:00 AM India time).

Funds raised from this event will help support the following causes driven by Pallium India.

1.Vaccination Drive: Purchase 500 additional doses of COVID vaccine to administer the second dose of vaccination for the patients and families of Pallium India

2.Vocational Training: Provide support and vocational training for 10 families who lost their job/ability to work due to chronic illness or Covid.

Details of these causes can be found at

Here is how you can help contribute:

For outside India:

For donations in INR: 

Tickets to the events will be emailed to the donors before the event, with instructions on how to watch.

Webinar: COVID’s Global Impact on Palliative Care: Creating Connections

‘Life’ is important. And rather obviously, it is more than mere existence, with psychosocial wellbeing as an essential part of it. How is life impacted not only for the Covid-infected, but also for the Covid-affected, which is the whole of humanity?

Dwain Fehon & Devi Kainikkara

International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) organises a webinar on COVID’s Global Impact on Palliative Care: Creating Connections on October 21, 2021 at 9:00-10:30 am ET via Zoom. Do join to understand the challenges faced in palliative care across the globe during the pandemic and how humanity thrived with benevolence, compassion and tolerance.

Dwain Fehon from Yale School of Medicine, USA, and Devi Kainikkara from Adayar Cancer Institute are the moderators. Participants include the celebrated Harvey Chochinov, the proponent of dignity therapy, and other eminent personalities. Pallium India is proud to participate in this event.

Click here to know more about the webinar and to register: COVID’s Global Impact on Palliative Care: Creating Connections

United Nations University and IAHPC webinar on 7th October

Please join the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health and the International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care (IAHPC) on Thursday, October 7 at 11.30 AM IST for an important webinar on Palliative Care and Health Systems: A Multistakeholder dialogue between countries at different levels of integration.

Register NOW: Palliative Care and Health Systems: A Multistakeholder Dialogue

You can also watch the program LIVE on Youtube:

Effective civil society advocacy and official support at all levels of governance are essential to ensure integration of palliative care into health systems per World Health Assembly Resolution 67/19 and the 2018 Declaration of Astana – the guiding global health document.
Many member states that have succeeded in at least partial PC integration have yet to form the necessary multistakeholder collaborations and bilateral alliances with their regional and global counterparts. These relationships are essential to advance palliative care nationally and showcase PC progress at multilateral meetings.
This UNU convening will serve as a template to demonstrate how advocacy-focused collaborations between member states, palliative care organizations, United Nations (UN) entities, and academia can improve integration of palliative care in health systems in member states with different levels of development.

We at Pallium India will surely participate in it; please do if you can.

As Dr Katherine Pettus, Senior Advocacy Director of IAHPC, reminds us, “this meeting is about progress and how we can help one another progress”. We have allowed the sea of health related suffering (10 million in India!) to rage on too long without doing much about the destruction that it causes. Are we pretending that it does not exist?

Please register and join this event. And then let us hold hands across seas and plan some action.

Register now:

Educational programme by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre

In association with the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2021, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre organises a two and a half day educational programme on the 5th and 6th of October.

Click for more information:

Note: Registration for people from LICs and LMICs is complimentary. 

Pallium India’s Head of Policy Advocacy, Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, Smriti Rana, is speaking at the Rapid Fire Session on October 5th. The session theme is ‘Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice’. Smriti’s specific topic is ‘Palliative Care for Health Equity: Snapshots from India’. 

Webinar & Launch of Saath-Saath Helpline


Pallium India updates national directory of palliative care services

It is the mission of Pallium India to mainstream palliative care into healthcare in India. Though there are promising developments from around the country, palliative care centers are limited to selected pockets, except in Kerala.

Pallium India maintains a state-wise directory of institutions offering palliative care services in India. The list includes palliative care providers from community-based organisations to tertiary care institutions and cancer care centers. 

In the last several weeks, Pallium India’s State Facilitation Team had been focussed on updating this directory with verified information. The directory covers critical information like contact details including phone numbers and email addresses, availability of In-patient, Out-patient and home care services, availability of morphine, etc.

If anyone you know needs palliative care support, our directory will help you find the centre closest to you. 

Do take a look at Pallium India’s Palliative Care Directory and let us know (Email: or Contact us) if any centre near you is missing.

Video of the Month:

Meet Shyam Kumar, a student, a cyclist, a skating enthusiast and much more. An inspiring person, who is also a friend of Pallium India.

Watch the video on youtube:

In this series, Asianet Cable Vision (ACV) channel explores the lives of people in Trivandrum who receive support from Pallium India. Watch these videos to know how palliative care can improve the life of people who live with serious health related suffering.

Subscribe to Pallium India for more stories.

Subscribe to Pallium India’s youtube channel for videos related to palliative care and our activities. You can watch previous webinars and training sessions, as well as listen to caregivers, survivors and others sharing their experiences.

If you have any queries, please write to us:

Palliative Care Education for Medical Students

Rajalekshmi Balu, Section Head, Virtual Education, Pallium India, writes:

“Great experience with learning from all professionals. A brief but concise program that puts forth the importance of palliative care in the most effective manner.” – Fourth Year Medical Student, Stanley Medical College, Tamil Nadu

“It was amazing session as well as innovative approach. Palliative care should be included in routine medical syllabus & every medical student should be exposed with basic knowledge of palliative care.” – Second Year Medical Student, Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research, Gujarat

“The program enlightened me about importance of palliative care, bursting many myths. It not only focused on the practical aspects, the psychological part but also the physiological part. It was a great learning experience for me.” – First Year Medical Student, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Sikkim

A start of another milestone initiative of Pallium India in creating awareness in palliative care to young aspiring medical students. The interest was generated by a strong medical student’s group – Medical Students Association of India (MSAI), India’s first and largest internationally represented medical students’ organization, comprising over 20,000 medical students across the country. Catering to their need we were able to put forward a unique six hours interactive training program to make them aware about palliative care aspects and motivate them to bring about a palliative care approach.

Our first batch included 44 medical students from 11 states and 3 union territories of the country. Among which only 2 students had a previous knowledge and exposure to palliative care. Sessions were interactive with showing videos in between and asking for their opinions in various case-scenarios, in which all students responded well. We will be having more of this program with different batches of medical students. Interacting with students created an enormous youthful energy among our experts and team members and made us aware that palliative care journey and reach can be made easier with them.

For DOMESTIC Transfer:

Beneficiary: Pallium India Trust
Account No: 30086491915
State Bank of India
Branch: Pattom, Trivandrum
IFS Code: SBIN0003355
MICR No: 695002007 

For FOREIGN donations:
Account Name: Pallium India Trust
Bank: State Bank of India (code: 00691)
Branch: Delhi
Account No: 40098265669
IFSC Code: SBIN0000691

Congratulations to Dr. Ashiqui S. Mohammed, who won the Miss Humaneness Award at the Miss Queen Kerala 2021 contest.

Dr Ashiqui, who hails from Nedumangad, Trivandrum, is a PG student at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna. She has raised ₹71,425 to support the palliative care activities of Pallium India. 

Congratulations Dr Ashiqui. Thank you for your generous donation and your support for palliative care. We wish you the very best.

Please help us find a permanent home!

Pallium India is looking for a place for our permanent headquarters with inpatient, outpatient facilities, rehabilitation centre & training rooms. Anywhere in and around Thiruvananthapuram where people can reach easily. 

Please contact: 97467 45502 / 97467 46528 /

Upcoming Events

Check out all upcoming events:

For more information on any of these, write to:

Follow us for palliative care news, views and updates – as & when they happen

SIPC Annual Conference: October 2, 2021 at 2PM

Contact: Babu Abraham 97467 45502

IAPCON 2022 to be held between 11 & 13 February, 2022

The organizing team of the Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPCON) 2022, led by Dr. Anjum Joad Khan from Jaipur, has announced that IAPCON 2022 will be a virtual conference and will be held between 11th and 13th February, 2022.

There will be a pre-conference workshop on Thursday, 10th February, 2022.

Registrations are open.

Abstract Submission deadline: 15th Nov, 2021

For more information and to register, please visit the IAPCON website:

Hats on for Children’s Palliative Care

The second Friday in October, which this year falls on Friday 8th October 2021, is a day for raising international awareness of the need for children’s palliative care and the work of children’s palliative care (CPC) services worldwide. Now in its 8th year, the annual campaign is known as Hats and Masks On for Children’s Palliative Care with the hashtag #HatsOn4CPC. This is an initiative by the International Children’s Palliative Care Network.

Holding events may be still be challenging for many of us, but don’t worry, even if you are on your own, put on your hat and mask and take a selfie, put it on social media (along with the hashtag #HatsOn4CPC) and send it to

Click here for more info:


Hidden Lives Also Matter

I strongly felt that some of those lives wouldn’t have been lost if only they were not denied one of their fundamental rights; access to basic healthcare. I then remembered the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

Anu Savio writes in ehospice newsletter:

Overcoming Implicit Bias in the Age of COVID-19

Preeya Desh, MD writes: 

In my work in palliative care, I try not to make assumptions. I start each patient encounter like I start a new book or movie: I settle in and let them tell me the story. I allow a narrative to unfold; I lean in, engrossed as I experience something that is not about me. This is not my story, I tell myself. I can’t presume to know what leads a person to do the things that they do, act the way they act, or make decisions in the manner they have. I take what they tell me at face value, and try to hold my judgments at bay. 

When it comes to COVID-19, however, that work gets complicated. 

Read more: 

Empower nurses. And watch them work wonders:

Palliative care pioneers in India will have to admit that they have developed a system in which the leadership is too doctor-centric. Nurses form a large workforce with inadequate opportunities for empowerment. Watch Ms Geya George from Australia:

Miracles still happen

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”

An amazing doctor-couple, Shilpa Khanna and Chetanya Malik, joined Dr Yogesh Jain, Dr Neha Kale, Dr Dhiraj Deshmukh, Mr Jitendra Shahare and Ms Sarita Lohade to establish a rural healthcare institution in Surguja District in Chattisgarh, Sangwari. The wonders that they made happen are almost unbelievable. They responded to the pandemic by getting the necessary permissions from the Government Medical College to provide humane care to the COVID-infected. Including intensive care!

The Shilpa-Chetanya couple spent an hour with Pallium India’s state facilitation team so that we could learn from the humane care that they made happen.

(Image: Dr Shilpa and Dr Chetanya with the ICU team)

Read more about their work:


A Magical Evening by Shankar Mahadevan Academy

On two Sundays, September 12 and 26, 2021, Shankar Mahadevan Academy (SMA) gifted magical musical evenings to Pallium India’s care recipients, caregivers, volunteers and staff. The program began at 3PM on zoom. It was truly magical; everyone participated actively and enjoyed thoroughly. The friendly attitude of the singers, their open smiles and engaging personalities made the music truly divine.

Smriti Rana’s words to SMA summarised it all: 

When we try and teach spiritual suffering and care, we always mention that spirituality is more than faith – it is about connection, hope, meaning and purpose. And that music, poetry and art can provide those things in ways that cannot be measured. Thank you for bringing this to life, and for bringing spiritual care to our patients, their families and to all of us.  

Thank you, Krish, Parvathy, Anagha, Albin, Samyuktha and Nimisha for the mesmerising experience! We eagerly look forward to the next session with you all!

Shankar Mahadevan Academy provides free musical sessions to people battling serious diseases, loneliness, depression and other mental ailments. Learn more:

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