Palliative Care: A Touch to Heal
“Life is a race”. How many times have we come across that line in books, films and popular culture? Yes, people in this dog-eat-dog world are all busy running a high paced race. We rush to make our life happy and prosperous. We hardly ever look back to care what others are doing. We are busy fulfilling our own needs of education, money, fame, power and happiness. We do not care to think if our neighbors are starving. Neither are we ready to help those who need it. What we all forget in this race is, life is unpredictable. Anything can happen at any time. And there may come a time when we may turn to others to seek their aid. Where people who look unto others for help are today we can be tomorrow. Caring for others may not be that selfless after all. This realization paved the way to organize Palliative Care units in Kerala.
Each palliative care unit has only one motto, Service to Man is Service to God. This works as a holistic system, which provides sincere and creative care to the bed ridden patients, who suffer from long term and terminal diseases. Palliative care units support not only the patients but also their families and relatives in the most dedicated and sincere manner. Palliative care units work with farmers, professionals, teachers and students. They find the patients from their respective localities and help them. Palliative care units work mostly with patients who suffer from problems like physical challenges, mental instability, financial problems and self-confidence issues. Palliative care understands and resolves these problems by standing by these patients and their families in these dire situations. Rather than being a passive or inert helping source, Palliative care units actually involve in socially committed activities. Palliative care clinics arrange Home Care programmes, which execute a visit to the patient’s home to give them timely care.
Palliative Care sees to it a large number of student participate in its activities. Students have proven to be very helpful in voluntary services. One might say it is the responsibility of the youth to ensure the consistent success of this organization at different levels. This thought led to the formation of Students Initiative in Palliative Care (SIP) in 2011, in Malappuram district, Kerala. It is a combined initiative of students and teachers of different schools and colleges in the area. These units brought the students from different colleges together to work for a single cause.
The activities of SIP are many. Various job training programmes for the physically challenged patients to produce some basic goods, selling and marketing their products, Home Care programmes and other fund raising programmes. SIP, Malappuram has been standing as an inspiration to organize more units like this in other districts of Kerala. SIP educates students about community service. Whatever they choose as their career, the culture of Palliative Care and the enthusiasm for working for the welfare of the patients remain unchanged. The advent of modern technologies forever influences the lifestyle of people. But SIP makes them understand some basic realities like hunger and poverty. The orientation classes for Palliative Care attracts more and more students every year. The SIP volunteers get to spend more time with patients and engage them in many other social activities. The active participation and sincere efforts of the volunteers signal a hope for the generation.
Through the activities of the SIP students become more socially aware, especially about their basic duties and responsibilities. The students of today will go on to build the nation tomorrow. By understanding their fellow beings, one can be a better person for the society and bring forth a better future for the nation.
Research and concept: Habeeb Rahman YP and Swathy Karthik
Camera: Habeeb Raman YP
Editing: Habeeb Rahman YP