Published on: March 9, 2022
(File photo)

Why should school going children spend time learning palliative care? Shouldn’t they be concentrating on their studies?

Balajanasakhyam is a 93-year-old children’s collective created by Malayala Manorama newspaper. Their activities are very varied and are generally aimed at the overall development of the children.

On the March 6, 2022, a few units of Balajanasakhyam in Kerala got together to spend an evening of learning on pallia­tive care. Dr M R Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, gave the opening talk and Mr. Jose Pulimootil, Dr Ameer Ali and Father Justin Jose led the educational activities.

The question ‘why’ was discussed. The involvement of children in palliative care not only benefits of people living with illnesses but is an equally important learning experience for the kids themselves.

Children would want to be successful in their lives; their families too want the same for their kids. What defines success in life? Do a fat pay-cheque and material acquisitions mean success? Do all those things make somebody happy?

Or would happiness also depend on one’s personal relations; on how one interacts with the life partner, with other family members and the community around them? How can you be happy unless you are able to maintain good relations in your working environment?

Maintaining good relationships means acquiring the ability to see the point of view of others and to listen without judgement. Those are precisely the skills that children acquire when they indulge themselves in palliative care.

Best wishes, members of Balajanasakhyam; may you be successful in life.

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