2021 was a year we expected much from, especially emerging from the year that went before it. We had hoped 2021 would bring improved healthcare, restore our freedom to step out of our homes and be with people we love. We had hoped for a better year.
It was a year of losses. And unimaginable pain. The second wave of Covid-19 and its aftermath took much from us – individually and collectively. Writing this customary end of year note has not been easy this time around.
But even small candles burn bright and cast light in the deepest darkness. We share with you some pin-pricks of light that we experienced, and hope that they serve to warm your hearts a little.
24 of our team members came down with COVID, but made a full recovery, for which we are incredibly grateful.
We turned 18 this year. Transitioning into a new developmental stage, Pallium India went through its own rites of passage, and we worked to create better systems of management while enhancing our core imperative of patient and family-centric service.
We step into the new year more streamlined, with better clarity of vision and an expanded world view. We accomplished several important milestones along the three tiers of our “Demonstrate, Educate, Facilitate” model.
18 years of relieving suffering: Pallium India’s journey so far
True to its mission of partnership with the community, care recipients, family members, volunteers and staff came together to celebrate Pallium India’s 18th anniversary with a zoom event, live-streamed on Facebook on the 15th of December, 2021.
In his inaugural speech, Shankar Mahadevan said he was very glad that we have been going beyond hospitals to give psychological and social support to our patients. He was happy that his troupe SMA Nirvana was associated with Pallium India, to bring a smile to the faces of the people who were suffering.
Kerala’s nightingale Dr K S Chithra officially launched “Karunanjali”, a joint cultural form of patients, families and palliative care workers. We all sat enthralled as she sang ‘Lokam muzhuvan sukham pakaraanaayi, sneha deepamae mizhi thurakku’.
(Click here to read the complete report prepared by Usha Krishnaraj, volunteer, Pallium India.)
The recording of the anniversary celebrations can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/palliumindia/videos/240208031559379
18 Achievements in 18 Years
What amazing 18 years has Pallium India gone through! This time, from infancy to adolescence, has by no means been easy. But early on in our work, we had learnt to ask ourselves, “Why does it have to be easy?”. Generally, it would be the difficult things that are left undone, and we quickly learnt that they were also often the most worthwhile things to do. So here, looking back on 18 years of our work, is a summary of our achievements.
Thank you everyone, for making all this possible.
Video of the Month
Pallium India’s new theme song was introduced as part of its 18th anniversary events, on December 15, 2021.
With lyrics by Smriti Rana and composition by Yash of Shankar Mahadevan Academy, it was rendered by Pallium India’s medical social workers, led by Manisha and Emil. Please listen:
Watch the video on youtube: https://youtu.be/Le8vsPHf0zI
To walk with the weary
To take away pain
To wipe away tears
Bring light through the rain
May we have the heart,
To hold out a hand,
To those beyond reach
Across the land
May we have the grace,
To calm their fears
Stay beside them
For hours or years
May we have the vision,
To not look away
May we open our hearts
To what they say
When the night is dark
And they walk alone
Let us carry the light
And walk them home
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.
Legislation yet again regarding opioid access; Principle of Balance in focus.
Yet another legislative action for amendment of the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances) Act was tabled in the Parliament of India. The palliative care community came together to advocate for the principle of balance – to ensure that the Government acknowledged its dual obligation to ensure access to opioids for medical use while controlling inappropriate use.
In the Lok Sabha (the lower house), Member of the Parliament Mr N K Premachandran from Kerala talked about the need for distinguishing between licit and illicit entities when proposing legal action. In the upper house, Member of the Parliament Mr Suresh Gopi spoke in detail about the need to ensure the principle of balance. He said, “We should be thoroughly aware of the destruction unrelieved pain can cause. Right now, as I stand before you, there are about ten lakh Indians reeling under pain…The National Crime Records Bureau states that more than 26,000 people kill themselves every year due to health-related sufferings.” Watch Mr Suresh Gopi’s speech: https://youtu.be/BLljGBrsd7g
In her reply, the minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman said, “…it will still be necessary for us, even as we regulate the drugs, to create some kind of source with which, today, some life-threatening illness need palliative care for whom the medicines, derived from the opioids, will be very important. Therefore, we need to have some window. This is a larger issue. We will, certainly, have to think about all these things and I am very grateful to the hon. Member, Shri Suresh Gopi, for having raised that issue.” Watch Ms Nirmala Sitharaman’s reply: https://youtu.be/Kyl5vD5DuTQ
It is for the first time that members of Parliament are speaking so forcefully and clearly about the principle of balance and the need to alleviate suffering.
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Upcoming Trainings & Events
Jan 3, 2022: Online Foundation Course in Palliative Medicine for doctors (FCPM) – Sessions on Mon, Wed, Fri
Jan 3, 2022: Free Online Volunteer Training Program (VTP) in മലയാളം – 5 sessions, from Monday to Friday
Jan 4-8, 2022: Manjuthulli Arts & Crafts Exhibition & Sale
Jan 15, 2022: Kerala Palliative Care Day
Jan 15, 2022: Online Refresher Course in Palliative Medicine
Feb 4, 2022: World Cancer Day
Feb 11-13, 2022: IAPCON 2022
Feb 14, 2022: FREE Volunteer Training Program (Online) – English
IAPCON 2022 to be held from 11 to 13 February, 2022
The 29th Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPCON 2022) will be a virtual conference held between 11th and 13th February, 2022.
The theme of the conference is “Towards Excellence and Equity in Palliative care“.
There will be a pre-conference workshop on Thursday, 10th February, 2022.
Registrations are open for Annual IAPC debate & ‘Expressions: An arena for creative expressions’. Register now
For more information on the conference, please visit the IAPCON website: https://iapcon2022jaipur.com/
PALLIUM INDIA, TRIVANDRUM
AZIM PREMJI FOUNDATION
Medical Officer, Bengaluru
EASTERN INDIA PALLIATIVE CARE
Palliative care nurse, Kolkata
VISIT OUR CAREERS PAGE:
In case of queries, please write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Janam TV honors Dr Rajagopal
Janam TV honored Pallium India’s Chairman, Dr M R Rajagopal with “Janam Social Responsibility award” on 29 December, at Thiruvananthapuram. Dr Rajagopal received the award from the Honorable Governor of Kerala Shri Arif Mohammed Khan.
Cycle Ride on International Day of Disabled Persons
Indus Cycling Embassy and Pallium India organized a cycle ride on December 3, 2021 at Trivandrum to commemorate International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and to spread awareness.
International Volunteer Day, December 5, 2021
On International Volunteer Day, December 5, 2021, Mr Avinash Ashok (Executive Director, Sustainable Development Council, India) led a conversation on “Why volunteer?” This program was organized by Pallium India and Student Initiative In Palliative Care (SIPC).
The world needs more listeners
“He believes that the angels had sent us to wish him a healthy and prosperous life. The excitement and joy in his eyes still amazes me that how influential each one of us can be in others’ life,” Vishnu P R, Regional Coordinator – South, Pallium India, writes. Read the complete article
Dilasa palliative care centre bags awards
Dilasa palliative care centre in Goa is an activity of the Goa branch of Indian Medical Association (IMA) with public engagement. The initiative bags two awards, one to the Goa branch of IMA for the best branch for community action and other to the palliative care centre. Hearty congratulations Dr. Vallabh Dhaimodkar and all involved.
Year-end and Mental health
Depression tends to increase during the festival season due to an increase in demands (perceived as stressful), family issues, and being unable to manage expectations. The increased demands on our time, energy, patience, and flexibility can take a toll. Pooja Priyamvada writes in Rising Kashmir
Christmas celebrations at Pallium India
Pallium India family celebrated Christmas at the headquarters at Trivandrum on December 24, 2021, while outstation employees located at different parts of India joined in the festivities via zoom.
Listening to his silence
Minu A.S., Admin Officer, State Facilitation Team, Pallium India writes about an experience while participating in the Kerala Development Innovation and Strategic Council Job Fair in Thiruvananthapuram on the 18th of December 2021. Read the complete article
A visit to Manipur
Shalini AJ and Rontu Sangma from State Facilitation Team of Pallium India, reached Manipur on 15th November 2021 and visited the Directorate of Health Services (DHS). Read their report.
Rights, Relief and the Road ahead
In 2008, Human Rights Watch interviewed people experiencing moderate to severe pain in India. Their responses mapped closely to those of torture victims – all they wanted was the pain to stop. Many admitted to seriously considering suicide. Death seemed like the only answer. Smriti Rana, Pallium India’s Head – Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, writes in IAPC website.
Tapping into our inner Florence Nightingale
Caregiving is a basic human instinct, not something that only “nurses” and “attendants” do. And even if we don’t realise that ourselves, there are times when a trigger, a push gets us going. Read the complete article published in Khaleej Times
Patients and families from anywhere in India can call Pallium India’s Telehealth helpline. Health care professionals who need advice on palliative care or pain management can call this number.
The service is FREE and available in English, Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil.
Our lines are open from Monday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4pm
Call: +91 860 688 4889
In case of queries, please write to us: email@example.com
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or Contact us) if any centre near you is missing.
Donations from US can be made online on http://palliumindiausa.org/
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)
Account No: 40098265669
IFSC Code: SBIN0000691
SWIFT Code: SBININBB104
Queries? Write to email@example.com or call 97467 45504
Follow us for palliative care news, views and updates – as & when they happen
Sahayatra, Pallium India’s monthly print magazine in Malayalam, is meant for anyone interested in Palliative Care – patients, families, palliative care professionals, volunteers and well-wishers.
Yearly subscription rate for Sahayatra is ₹200. (Only ₹500 if you subscribe for three years.) However, we send Sahayatra free of cost to patients and their families.
To subscribe to Sahayatra monthly magazine, please send your complete postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact: 97467 45504
Read previous issues of Sahayatra online: https://palliumindia.org/sahayatra
Compassion, cleanliness and some money for patient care
Mahatma Gandhi said, “The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”
He also said, “So long as you do not take the broom and the bucket in your hands, you cannot make your towns and cities clean.”
Our respected volunteer Prof: Dr Sara Varghese and her neighbours Dr Lilly and Ms Laila followed precisely those quotes. They undertook the cleaning of the D-lane of Pothujanam Road, Thiruvananthapuram, for a whole year.
They decided it cost ₹5000 and donated that to Pallium India.
Thank you very much, Dr Sara, Dr Lilly and Ms Laila!
Thank you for reading our newsletter. Read previous issues here
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