On 30th March 2012 students of ISME, Bangalore had a visit to Karunashraya, a hospice trust for advanced stage cancer patients for Philanthropy Day. Karunashraya, meaning “Abode of Peace” provides care to advanced stage cancer patients.It is a joint project of Indian Cancer Society, Karnataka and Rotary Club Indiranagar Bangalore.
This visit was organised by the Social Club, led by Prof. Preeja Sridhar. At the vicinity, the students were briefed about the whole project which started in 1999, when on 1st May the first patient was taken into care by Karunashraya. Now, every year 1st May is celebrated as the Memorial Day. On this day, the patients are brought out and a small gathering is organised including a small musical show and cultural activities for the patients. “The main purpose of this organisation is to make the patients as comfortable as possible in their last days”.
The visit around the premises showed that, the building has four wards with twelve beds each. There are also five private wards with an open area for the attendants of the patients too. Other rooms are the laundry room, provision store area, linen room, meditation centre, kitchen and the dining room. There are also counselling sessions for the patient’s families to help them cope with the difficulties they are facing with their close ones terminally ill. Volunteers help the families especially, in terms of the children’s education by providing them text books and uniforms.
Every year there is a Marathon organized by the Rotary Club, which is an important event for Karunashraya. A lot of financial funding and support is provided through the sponsors, who participate in this 10km marathon. Apart from this, a sale of clothes is also organized by the hospice trust, where the garments donated by the volunteers are put up for a sale, and the money collected goes for the requirements of the patients. Donations in form of kind are put up for sale in the charity shop, which is in the vicinity of the hospice.
The services provided by Karunashraya are totally free of cost irrespective of caste, creed, religion and status. The best possible measures are taken in this hospice to meet the requirements of the suffering and ailing. The patients are made to deal with not just their physical problems but also their psychological and emotional troubles. ‘There should be no agitation in the last stages of a person. People should be at peace when they die.’ Karunashraya believes.
The students experienced a lot of emotional enrichment, by this visit where a team of people were so much dedicated for a noble cause. It added a great value and was an immense inspiration for all.
By: Neeti Thakur.
President, Literary Club.