Published on: April 1, 2024

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the April 2024 edition of Pallium India’s newsletter.

If you are a new subscriber, thank you for joining us. We hope you will find this newsletter useful.

Here you can find updates from the palliative care world, upcoming events including trainings for professionals and volunteers, interesting articles, career opportunities and so on.

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Read previous issues of the newsletter

This issue contains

  • Right to health includes right to palliative care: Supreme Court
  • Pallium India’s TIPS redesignated as WHO Collaborating Center
  • a report on Pallium India’s Food Festival
  • MoU signed with National Health Mission, Himachal Pradesh
  • Awards and Recognition
  • Job Openings
  • Upcoming Events and Important Days
    and more.

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

Right to health includes right to palliative care: Supreme Court

A piece of welcome news.

In response to a public interest litigation, the Supreme Court of India has declared that the fundamental right to health includes right to palliative care and has given the Government of India 8 weeks to deliberate on the matter and respond.

Read the news in the Economic Times: SC seeks Centre’s response on PIL seeking palliative care as part of national health programme

An article in the Times of India by Rema Nagarajan can be seen here: Morphine mantra: Help millions in pain

Another step forward.

TIPS redesignated as WHO Collaborating Center

Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) has been a WHO Collaborating Center for Training and Policy on Access to Pain Relief for South-east Asia Region (SEAR) countries since 2012.

The terms of reference and activities are decided at the time of redesignation every four years. The process of redesignation is a rigorous one and dependent on past record as well as the current health of the organisation. 

We are glad to report that as of March 2024, we have been redesignated for the 4th time. 

Ms Smriti Rana, Pallium India’s Head of Strategic Programs and Partnerships, is appointed the Head of the collaborating center from this year.

We look forward to your support.

Events / Trainings / Conferences
Foundation Course in Palliative Care (FCPC) – Psychosocial Interventions (Basics)

April 8, 2024

6 weeks Certificate Course for doctors & nurses at Trivandrum

October 7, 2024

We invite doctors and nurses to join this six weeks certificate course in pain management and palliative care, at Trivandrum.

The participants will get to take an active part in Pallium India’s inpatientout patient and home visit programs, as well as in events and celebrations at Trivandrum, Kerala.

Doctors: MBBS or BDS 

Nurses: Any recognised degree or certificate in nursing 

Register for this course

Foundation Course in Palliative Medicine (Online)

April 17, 2024


MBBS or BDS, with permanent registration with medical / dental council.

Register for this course

Essentials of Palliative Medicine for Pulmonologists

April 18, 2024

Read more and register here

SIPC Collection Drive
Online Foundation Course in Palliative Nursing (FCPN) – ECHO

April 23, 2024


Registrations Open!

15th Malaysian Hospice Council Congress

Read more

World Autism Awareness Day

April 2, 2024

World Health Day

April 7, 2024

Earth Day

April 22, 2024

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2024

October 12, 2024

The year 2024 marks 10 years since the World Health Assembly (WHO’s Governing Body) passed the only stand-alone resolution on palliative care, calling for all countries to “strengthen palliative care as a component of comprehensive care throughout the life course.” This is what inspired the theme for 2024.

The theme is, “Ten Years Since the Resolution: How are we doing?”

Read more

MoU signed with NHM Himachal Pradesh

Pallium India and the National Health Mission-Himachal Pradesh (NHM-HP) come together to revolutionize palliative care services in the state. The recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) marks a significant milestone in our collective efforts to enhance healthcare provisions for individuals facing life-limiting illnesses and their families. 

Read more

Pediatric Medical Camp at Murukkumpuzha

Pallium India hosted a Pediatric Medical Camp on 17th March 2023 at Sneha Palliative Care Society, Murukkumpuzha, Trivandrum. in collaboration with the Sneha Palliative Care Society headed by Mr. Francis, volunteer of Murukkumpuzha Centre. A total of 22 children took part in the camp from different areas of Murukkumpuzha.

Read more

Food Festival at Thiruvananthapuram

Pallium India’s food festival took place on March 1 & 2, 2024 at Canara Bank, Thiruvananthapuram. 

The event was inaugurated on March 1 by Mr Sunil Raj (Principal Accountant General, Audit), Mr Prem Kumar (Canara Bank Circle Head & General Manager), Dr M R Rajagopal (Chairman Emeritus, Pallium India), Binod Hariharan (Chairman, Pallium India) and Ms Rema Ramaprasad (Senior Volunteer, Pallium India).

Pallium India’s staff, volunteers and other well-wishers participated whole-heartedly, preparing a variety of food items at their homes, sprinkled with love, while the city flowed in and purchased the delicacies, making the event a huge success. 

Pallium India’s annual food festival is aimed to raise funds for patient care, medicines, food kits, children’s educational support, rehabilitation and other activities. 

We thank the amazing people of Thiruvananthapuram for turning up in large numbers, once again. Your support for our Food Festival and our fundraising efforts warms our hearts.

Adding life to years OR adding years to life!

“Don’t you get depressed? Cancer care is such a sad space to work in. You are surrounded by so much pain, suffering and death. All this must weigh you down.”

I have heard such statements often since I started working in Palliative care.

In the early days such statements would upset me a lot and I would try explaining to them that it’s not depressing to work in this field.

Now, when someone asks me if it’s a depressing field to work in, I smile back.

Vandana Mahajan explains why palliative care can never be sad: Continue Reading

The Journey of Compassionate Leadership – A Transformational Experience

Dr. Sunil Kumar, Dr. Arjun Devarajan and Mr Rontu Sangma from Pallium India participated in the Compassionate Leadership Fellowship (CLF), a year-long advanced leadership program to inspire, empower, influence, and transform future leaders in the field of palliative care. This is a collaborative effort of the Believers Church Medical College Hospital (BCMCH), Cairdeas International Palliative Care Trust (Cairdeas IPCT), Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh (UoE), the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) and RMD Trust.

Read more

Pre-conference workshop for nurses at IAPCON 2024

On February 8, 2024, a group representing palliative care nurses successfully hosted a Pre-Conference Workshop, during the 31st International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPCON 2024) at GCRI in Ahmedabad.

Dr Latha A. writes. Read more

Dr. Rajagopal addressed the participants of “Pediatric Palliative Care Seminar on Grief and Bereavement Support for Parents” organised by Golden butterflies Children’s Palliative Care Foundation, Chennai, in collaboration with Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research.

A bereavement circle for families that have lost a child – The Hindu reports

Debunking myths during the pandemic to putting her foot down on dengue vaccine

At The Wheel Of Research is a soon-to-be-released biography of Dr Soumya Swaminathan, former Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO), authored by Anuradha Mascarenhas, Senior Editor with The Indian Express. Dr Soumya is a trustee of Pallium India.

Read more

Something special about opioid access workshop in Puducherry!

Over the last one year, Pallium India has conducted 14 opioid access workshops in 17 states and Union Territories.

But there was something special about the one conducted in Aarupadai Veedu Medical College (AVMC), Puducherry on 19 March 2024. For the first time in history, such a workshop happened because of the initiative of the Drug control authority.

Read more

Things of beauty in MAMC, Delhi

Two things of absolute beauty were visible in Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), Delhi over two days – the 16th and 17th of March 2024.

First, a conference of the Association of Rural Surgeons of India (ARSI) was happening there. The second is Gurukool

Read more

Pallium India’s trustee, Ashla Rani, was honoured by Association of Rural Surgeons of India at New Delhi

Read more

Ashla was also honoured by Trivandrum District Legal Services Authority on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2024, for her services for betterment of marginalized people.

Addressing a packed hall, Ashla said that for women to have a meaningful place in society, women should be able to accept / respect themselves as individuals. And that they can learn to respect themselves only if the society values them.

Openings at Pallium India

Openings at Dilasa, Goa

Medical Social Worker
Palliative Care Nurse

For more openings across the country, visit our CAREERS page:

In case of queries, please write to us:

Donate to Pallium India and lend a hand to our activities.

Donations from US can be made online at

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Video of the Month
An Introduction to Palliative Care – by Dr M R Rajagopal

This is a recording of the “Introduction to Palliative Care” session by Dr Rajagopal, as part of an online course. Watch this video if you would like to understand the basic idea of Palliative Care.

Click here to watch the video:

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.

Kerala’s journey in palliative care and its impact at the national level

Johanna Deeksha writes in The Scroll about Kerala’s palliative care journey from a 12-foot-by-12-foot room to its impact in the whole country with wide community participation in Kerala.

“The government does have a National Programme for Palliative Care under the National Health Mission”, she says. “But the website that lists the goals of the programme only mentions that it broadly aims to increase accessibility to morphine, and that the government recommends that every primary health centre, and health and wellness centre, should make provisions for palliative care”.

Read the article: Why Kerala’s palliative care model is making an impact

Indeed, though the National Programme for Palliative Care envisioned palliative care at all primary, secondary and tertiary levels of healthcare, there has been this huge implementation gap. 

Anyone who wants to see the whole document of National Programme for Palliative Care, please click here.

Don’t use counselling to turn LGBTQ+ persons against their own identity, says Supreme Court

This is so encouraging. Finally, reason seems to prevail and justice is being done to LGBTQI individuals.

We of the palliative care fraternity need to think, are we giving attention to this particularly vulnerable population? Or do we allow them to slip through the cracks?

Read more

30 people in Thrissur sign ‘living will’ for right to die with dignity – Onmanorama news

“I have seen relatives of people suffering from incurable diseases put them in ICU, on ventilator and other facilities just to delay their death. The patients live in hell-like situations and nobody is even bothered. I do not want to be in such a situation.”

Read more

My One Wild and Precious Life—The Purpose of Medical Care

“My One Wild and Precious Life – The Purpose of Medical Care”, by Abinav K. Jyotis, M.S., contains reflections of a medical student as a naive little boy, inspired by his late grandfather, pinning to becoming a physician, who later struggles to find purpose in the unidealistic world of the current healthcare system. But, through his exposure to “Pallium India”, a non-profit palliative care organization in Kerala, India, healthcare once more gains meaning and signifies the importance of love and care amidst a patient’s journey through pain and suffering.

Read more

Scotland considers ‘assisted dying’

Thank you, Dr Athul Joseph Manuel, for bringing our attention to this piece of news from the BBC: Could assisted dying be coming to Scotland?

Rather clearly, the western world is moving more and more towards euthanasia. 

There is a certain pattern in any country. The first time it is proposed, there is violent antagonism and the Parliament rejects it. But only for a certain period of time. In a few years, the country comes to accept it. 

Interestingly, various euphemisms are often used. The proposed term in Scotland is ‘assisted dying’.

Sadly in India, though euthanasia is often discussed, palliative care seldom receives attention. We have to remember that every single country that has legalised euthanasia has provision for palliative care within the health system.

We do not want to talk about the right or wrong of euthanasia in the western context. But we would strongly argue that it would be  a heartless country that chooses to think about killing someone without first providing palliative care. We know it for a fact that the majority of requests for euthanasia vanish when we have relieved some pain or breathlessness or provided some companionship.

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 our numbers.

The service is FREE and available in EnglishHindi, Malayalam and Tamil.

Our lines are open from Monday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4pm

Call: +91 964 588 4889 / +91 860 688 4889

In case of queries, please write to us:

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: or Contact us) if any centre near you is missing.

“To me the book is very informative, motivational and inspirational too. The book is a good friend of mine and I read it repeatedly. The more I read the book the more I learn and discover many things. As a non medical person I find that reading such a book in depth by today’s doctors will enlighten them and help them to know many things which will take them upwards in their career too. And above all they will also learn to treat the pain not the disease only.” – Sriprakash Bhattacharya

Get your copy of “Walk With the Weary” (Available in Paperback and Kindle formats, globally)

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If you have already read the book, please leave a review on Amazon or send it to us:

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A beacon of Hope

Dr Shilpa Khanna writes:

In the dimly lit hospital room lay a frail woman, curled up in the sterile sheets of the hospital bed. Beside her stood her worried daughter, her face etched with concern, as she had brought her mother to a health centre in a small town. Clutched tightly in her arms was a bulging bundle of documents and reports, a testament to the arduous journey they had undertaken.

When questioned about the reason for their visit, the daughter’s response came in the form of immediate tears, born from a sense of helplessness in the face of her mother’s suffering. She knew all too well the cruel reality that her mother battled – an advanced malignancy that had spread its tendrils to her lungs, liver, spine, and other parts she could scarcely recall. The pain her mother endured was relentless, a constant companion that intensified with every movement, every attempt to rise from her bedridden state.

For three long months, they had traversed from place to place in search of relief, yet none was found. Countless tests were conducted, and chemotherapy and radiotherapy were offered, only to further degrade the quality of life she held dear. But amidst the despair, a glimmer of hope emerged as she was assessed and commenced on a regimen of oral morphine and amitriptyline.

In the passing days, a transformation unfolded—the daughter returned, her countenance marked with a newfound sense of relief. For the first time in three agonizing months, her mother found respite from the gripping claws of pain. Sleep, once elusive, now embraced her with welcoming arms.

This narrative echoes the plight of countless individuals grappling with cancer across our nation. The causes are manifold—ranging from limited access to essential narcotic drugs to the pervasive fear of adverse effects and legal repercussions. Add to this the widespread misunderstanding surrounding palliative care and the tragic oversight of addressing the totality of pain.

Yet, amidst the darkness, there exists a beacon of hope—a beacon that illuminates the path toward compassionate care, one that acknowledges the entirety of human suffering and endeavours to alleviate it.

(Dr Shilpa Khanna is a doctor committed to palliative care, working for equity and health in rural and tribal regions of North Chhattisgarh. She works with a non-profit organization Sangwari and collaborates with the health system to improve access to pain relief while providing support through home visits, training, documentation, grassroots-level research and advocacy.)

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