Those three girls had seen how people dear to them went through agonies with major health issues and how their families were destroyed financially. Their experience with disease and suffering made them determined to become doctors. But entrance examinations for admission to medical college make no allowance for attitude, commitment or passion. Only facts and figures count. They do not stand a chance unless they attend coaching classes, which are expensive by our standards.
For the three girls, an annual requirement would be a total of ₹3.2 lakhs (approximately $4600).
We sought sponsorship from anyone who would help.
We did not have to wait for long. Mr Sandip Jariwala of Relief from Cancer, came forward to support two of them. The third was jointly supported by Kunal Ashok Desai and another person who wishes to remain anonymous.
Thank you, you wonderful donors, for giving the three girls a chance to make their dreams come true!
Nevertheless, the majority of people somehow manage to live with their grief, at least outwardly leading a normal life. A few go into pathological grief, no longer able to function in the society. Yet another, albeit small, group of people make something good to come out of their suffering.
Abhijit, a bright young person, died at the age of 19, of a viral infection. His loving family and friends created the Abhijit Foundation to reduce the suffering around them.
In a ceremonious event at the famous Kanakakkunnu Palace, Trivandrum at 6 PM on 25 July 2019, Justice P Sathasivam, Governor of Kerala handed over the foundation’s annual award for social service to Pallium India – a memorial plaque and a purse of ₹200,000. Thank you, Abhijit’s family and all at the foundation. Abhijit will live through the numerous people whose lives are positively changed by this and other charitable activities that you undertake.
A state level workshop for stakeholders on Integrated Palliative Care and Geriatric Care Program was organized by Government of Kerala, in collaboration with National Health Mission and Department of Health Services (Kerala), on 25th July 2019, at State Institute of Health & Family Welfare, Thycaud, Trivandrum.
Lijimol, Dr. Deepak and Babu Abraham represented Pallium India in the workshop, and expressed their views and offered suggestions. Also among the participants were representatives from different government departments of state and districts, members of IAPC (Kerala), and representatives of Community-based organizations (CBO) & non-governmental organizations (NGO) from different parts of Kerala.
Pallium India was privileged to be a part of their meeting in London on 20 July 2019, chaired by Dr Parvathi Nair. The meeting discussed the current status of healthcare in India and how palliative care could bring in compassion into it. This group has been supporting palliative care in Kulasekharam for many years now.
While sharing this optimism, let us also warn of a potential implementation gap. In our country, not always does policy translate to action and reality. We will need sustained and systematic action to ensure that the competency mentioned in the curriculum is actually achieved by the students.
(Image: Dr Satendra Singh at the Disability Pride Parade in Chicago.)