"If I can stop one Heart from Breaking,
I shall not Live in Vain,
If I can Ease one Life the Aching,
I shall not live in Vain"
.

IN THE NEWS

YEAR 2016

CHENNAI, October 20, 2016


http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/new-hospice-for-cancer-patients/article9242081.ece

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Jeevodaya Hospice for cancer patients has opened a new facility, the Jeevodaya Day Care Clinic at 64/1, Gangadeswarar Koil Street, 1st Lane, Purasawalkam, a press release said.

The clinic was inaugurated on October 11, on the occasion of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. Here, cancer patients will have easy access to palliative care services on an outpatient basis. The clinic is an extension of the 50-bed facility of Jeevodaya in Manali.

Free medication for pain relief to cancer patients, counselling for patients and their families and spiritual and bereavement support will be offered. Jeevodaya is also in need of volunteers, willing to spare time to help cancer patients, the press release said. For details, contact 9840920737.

×



YEAR 2014


23rd May 2014

The Consul General of Malaysia and PERWAKILAN members visited Jeevodaya Hospice Centre at Mathur Village on 23 May 2014.  This program was arranged by Chennai Turns Pink a non-profit organization dedicated towards breast cancer awareness. 



The patients at the Hospice Centre are afflicted by various types of cancer and some of them are already in the final terminal stage.  During the visit, PERWAKILAN members contributed food packages to the patients and made a cash donation of RS 10,000 to the hospital.
________________________________________________



Jeevodaya Public Charitable Trust Hospice for Cancer Patients - Manali

Add: Jeevodaya Hospice for Cancer Patients
1/272 ( old 86 ) Kamaraj Road
Manali P.O - 600068
Tamil Nadu
Tel: 91-44-25555565
Email: jeevodaya@vsnl.com
Website: http://www.geevodaya.org
Contact: Lalitha Teresa F.C.C
Purpose: Health

Aim/Objective/Mission: Jevoodaya is a professionally manned hospice rendering free palliative care to advanced cancer patients irrespective of caste, creed, class and religion. The hospice is run under the aegis of Jeevodaya Public Charitable Trust, which is a non-profit, non-religious, non-political organisation. The chief promoter of the hospice is the Franciscan Clarist Congregation of Alvernia Province Chalakudy-Kerala. The hospice is the second one to be started in India and the first of its kind in South India. It is situated in the serene surroundings of Mathur village a suburban village at the out skirts of Chennai , the capital city of Tamil Nadu. It is twelve kilometers from heart of city-close to the Veterinary University –Tamil Nadu.

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                             YEAR 2013

October 12th 2013



Jeevodaya Hospice and Kanivin Karam: Awareness programme on palliative care and blood donation camp, Mathur, 10 a.m.

25 June 2013


Jeevodaya Hospice was established in 1990 in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu to render palliative care service to cancer patients. In May 2013, the first rural project of Jeevodaya started functioning in Chinnabommagikulam village in Thiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu.

The objective of this project is to extend the service to rural areas. Chinnabommagikulam, where the project has been launched on 26th May 2013, is a remote village in Gummidipoondi Taluk of Tamil Nadu. Health care facilities are scarce in this region.

In the initial phase of the project, a survey will be conducted in all the 14 villages in Nemallur Panchayat to identify patients and assess their medical needs. The plan is to systematically address every village. An outpatient unit will start functioning in July 2013.

The service will be extended to the rest of the villages in Gummidipoondi Taluk in the second phase.
__________________________________________________

Posted 15th May 2013

__________________________________________________

18th February 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013


http://ennangkalinsangamam.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/jeevodaya.html


Jeevodaya provides help and relief to those suffering from cancer. Understanding the mental anguish that accompanies the physical deterioration brought on by the disease, Jeevodaya provides not only medical aid, but also emotional support through spiritual programs.

For terminally ill patients with advanced stages of cancer, volunteers visit them at home and provide whatever help and support they can.

Jeevodaya regularly runs awareness campaigns about cancer in the surrounding regions, and periodically runs cancer screening camps.

Jeevodaya also organizes for cultural and recreational programs to brighten the lives of the patients.
Understanding that families also suffer along with the patient, the group offers family members counseling and educates them about the disease.
Running with the help of fully dedicated doctors, volunteers and social workers, Jeevodaya stands as a true beacon of hope and peace to those suffering from this painful and often fatal disease.

Contact:

Lalitha Theresa
Jeevodaya
Old no. 1/86, New No. 1/272
Kamaraj Salai
Mathur
Chennai – 600068
Ph: 044-25555565 / 25559671

Posted by Sakthi at 10:53 PM
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                             YEAR 2012
2nd October 2012

To and for the Poor Blogspot

Hi all
                       We have posted all this photos to show our donors and friends what we have done with their help.we were happy to see  people in that hospice greeting us with smile and concern .This event took place on October 2nd 2012.Things done by us was on that day as follows:

1.Sponsored one day food for patients and that hospice staffs
2.We bought clothes for the patients
3.We helped them with some tedious tasks.
4.Got some juice for patients and other staffs of hospital.

                This would have not been possible without the funds raised by our friends and other donors.We all express our sincere gratitude to all ,who were part of this whole idea

__________________________________________________

26TH FEB 2012


PLEASE CLICK ON LINK ABOVE TO SEE PICTURES
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                             YEAR 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


On the 29th of August, joined by Jennifer White, Mr. & Mrs. Marcus, we visited the Jeevodaya Hospice to spread some much needed cheer among the patients. 

This noble facility takes care of cancer patients who are in an advanced stage. Jeevodaya provides the patients with tender loving care and attention; their main aim is to ease the suffering of the patients and help them to die with dignity. 

Mr. Marcus entertained the patients with a lively puppet show and also prayed for them. We sang some songs and were surprised to see that all the patients (and their attenders) joined in chivalrously inspite of their pain and trauma. 

Thanks to the generosity of Mrs Purnima and Miss Akshita, we were able to provide health drinks, offered a special meal and plenty of biscuits.

To protect the privacy of the patients, photos were not taken.
Jeevodaya Hospice can be contacted on 044 25555565.

Posted by Flora Lazar at 7:37 AM
__________________________________________________

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WHISPERING HOPE 

Visit to the Jeevodaya Hospice

On the 29th of August, joined by Jennifer White, Mr. & Mrs. Marcus, we visited the Jeevodaya Hospice to spread some much needed cheer among the patients. This noble facility takes care of cancer patients who are in an advanced stage. Jeevodaya provides the patients with tender loving care and attention; their main aim is to ease the suffering of the patients and help them to die with dignity. Mr. Marcus entertained the patients with a lively puppet show and also prayed for them. We sang some songs and were surprised to see that all the patients (and their attenders) joined in chivarously inspite of their pain and trauma. Thanks to the generosity of Mrs Purnima and Miss Akshita, we were able to provide health drinks, offered a special meal and plenty of biscuits.
To protect the privacy of the patients, photos were not taken.

Jeevodaya Hospice can be contacted on 044 25555565.
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30th April 2010


The Manava Seva Dharma Samvardhani (MSDS) is a public charitable trust founded by philanthropist Mr P N Devarajan in 1999.  MSDS celebrates social work by awarding  social workers and bringing in professionalism in the social sector through customized courses in social work management.

Sadguru Gnanananda, a spiritual teacher from Tapovanam, Tamilnadu,  believed that when social work is done with joy and compassion, the signature of God is seen in such work.  Hence, MSDS has instituted the awards in his name for social change agents who bring hope and courage to people in despair. The different categories of awards are:

1.Women social change agents

2.Family in social work (husband and wife team)

3.Socially responsible corporate

Till date, 90 women, 7 families and 2 corporate heads have been the recipients. The award comprises Rs 75,000 in cash, a citation and a silver plaque.

The Sadguru Gnananada Fellowship has been introduced this year for budding social entrepreneurs, who will receive Rs 10,000 per month for one year.

The awards celebrations have been held in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai and these functions have inspired many to live a life of giving, sharing and caring.

The eleventh Sadguru Gnanananda national awards function will be held on 13th March at Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai.

The  awardees being honored  this year are,

WOMEN SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

Awardee: Sister Lalitha

Organisation: JEEVODAYA HOSPICE FOR CANCER PATIENTS


                   1/272, Kamaraj Road, Mathur

                   Manali PO, Chennai -600 068

                   Phone: 044-2555 5565

A retired professor of zoology, Sister Lalitha founded Jeevodaya, the first hospice for cancer patients in South India, in 1990. They provide palliative care to terminally ill cancer patients who cannot afford the cost of treatment. This 50-bed hospice has catered to over 4,300 patients and has ensured them a less painful, dignified demise. They also offer counselling services to the family members. The love and dedication shown by the caretakers at Jeevodaya are highly appreciated by the patients and their families.

The community clinic at Jeevodaya provides free medical service to the public and undertakes cancer awareness and cancer prevention programmes. Jeevodaya  launched a pain and palliative care outpatient clinic and home-based care for the terminally ill patients and offers training to doctors and nurses.
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                             YEAR 2009
8th December 2009



Chennai - Jeevodaya Hospice

Patients from Jeevodaya and their families, family members of patients who have passed away, staff, well wishers and the public assembled at MRF Hall
of Loyola College, Chennai at 2.30pm on 10th October to make their day memorable.

Dr.Udaya Mahadevan, Founder Member and Social work consultant welcomed the gathering. Sr. Lalitha, Secretary, Jeevodaya gave an update about the activities of Jeevodaya. She also thanked Mr Ram Krishnaswamy, for offering to donate the proceeds of sale of his Book "Reflections by IITians" to Jeevodaya.
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7th July 2009


PALLIATIVE CARE IS FAST EMERGING AS ONE OF THE MOST VITAL ASPECTS OF MEDICINE 

Janani Sampath 

Eight-year-old Amit (name changed) is helped by a nurse to get on to his bed after he finishes his evening walk outside the cancer ward at a reputed hospital in Chennai.He is in the second stage of the disease;his parents and he attend counselling sessions once a week.Twenty years ago,Amit's parents would have had to adjust to this reality on their own,for medicine could have only attended to their son's disease.But their woes largely psychological would have been left unattended.

Today,there is a growing awareness about palliative care,a section of medicine that aims at preventing and relieving suffering and significantly improving the quality of life for people with chronic illness like cancer,etc.It is offered in conjunction with curative and other forms of treatment.
Dr Maillika Tiruvadanan,Palliative Care Physician from Lakshmi Pain and Palliative Care,Kilpauk,says,"Now there are short and long-term courses for palliative care.In India,IAPC (Indian Association of Palliative Care) has identified a number of centres to conduct these courses.The minimum qualification for the course is an MBBS degree;these courses are opted for by both doctors and nurses.The course content is very similar to what they learn in MBBS but the application is a lot different.The course is uniform in all centres that conduct it in the lines prescribed by IAPC.""In our country every year,eight to nine million suffer from chronic diseases and two million are diagnosed with cancer.'This calls for every doctor and nurse to be trained in palliative care,feel experts.Dr Manjula Krishnaswamy,medical director and founder member of Jeevodaya,Hospice for Advanced Cancer Patients in Chennai,says that working doctors and nurses will find the biannual courses easy since they are for eight weeks with only three days of contact learning sessions.Apart from that,Jeevodaya is also a part of the one year course conducted by IAPC,Calicut,Kerala.


"Doctors especially need to specialise in palliative care and they should have handson experience.The motive of Jeevodaya is to integrate palliative care with medicine,"she adds.The awareness is not just restricted to those in the field of medicine,for even the general public don't want to wait till the end."The awareness is considerably more than what it was say,ten years ago,but even today,80 per cent of them come to doctors only in the advanced stage,"says Dr Azhar Hussain,Consultant,Pain and Palliative Care,Cancer Institute,Adyar.He adds that even in rural parts of the country,the need for palliative care is really high,while the supply of such facilities is relatively very low."In places like Srivilliputhur and Tuticorin,too,there is a need to disseminate awareness.A community-oriented awareness needs to be created.We still have a long way to go,for we are lagging behind when it comes to this discipline,"he says.

__________________________________________________

7th July 2009 


Posted on Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Palliative care is fast emerging as one of the most vital aspects of medicine. Janani Sampath talks to hospice centres and doctors to know more about the courses offered



Eight-year-old Amit (name changed) is helped by a nurse to get on to his bed after he finishes his evening walk outside the cancer ward at a reputed hospital in Chennai. He is in the second stage of the disease; his parents and he attend counselling sessions once a week. Twenty years ago, Amit's parents would have had to adjust to this reality on their own, for medicine could have only attended to their son's disease. But their woes largely psychological would have been left unattended. 

Today, there is a growing awareness about palliative care, a section of medicine that aims at preventing and relieving suffering and significantly improving the quality of life for people with chronic illness like cancer, etc. It is offered in conjunction with curative and other forms of treatment. 

Dr Maillika Tiruvadanan, Palliative Care Physician from Lakshmi Pain and Palliative Care, Kilpauk, says, "Now there are short and long-term courses for palliative care. In India, IAPC (Indian Association of Palliative Care) has identified a number of centres to conduct these courses. The minimum qualification for the course is an MBBS degree; these courses are opted for by both doctors and nurses. The course content is very similar to what they learn in MBBS but the application is a lot different. The course is uniform in all centres that conduct it in the lines prescribed by IAPC." 

'In our country every year, eight to nine million suffer from chronic diseases and two million are diagnosed with cancer.' This calls for every doctor and nurse to be trained in palliative care, feel experts. 

Dr Manjula Krishnaswamy, Medical Director and Founder Member of Jeevodaya, Hospice for Advanced Cancer Patients in Chennai, says that working doctors and nurses will find the biannual courses easy since they are for eight weeks with only three days of contact learning sessions. Apart from that, Jeevodaya is also a part of the one-year course conducted by IAPC, Calicut, Kerala. 

"Doctors especially need to specialise in palliative care and they should have hands-on experience. The motive of Jeevodaya is to integrate palliative care with medicine," she adds. The awareness is not just restricted to those in the field of medicine, for even the general public don't want to wait till the end. 

"The awareness is considerably more than what it was say, ten years ago, but even today, 80 per cent of them come to doctors only in the advanced stage," says Dr Azhar Hussain, Consultant, Pain and Palliative Care, Cancer Institute, Adyar. He adds that even in rural parts of the country, the need for palliative care is really high, while the supply of such facilities is relatively very low. "In places like Srivilliputhur and Tuticorin, too, there is a need to disseminate awareness. A community-oriented awareness needs to be created. We still have a long way to go, for we are lagging behind when it comes to this discipline," he says.
_________________________________________________

                             YEAR 2008

19th December 2008


'
Reflections by IITians is a collection of 36 articles by well known alumni of IIT who share their rich experiences and ideologies in their journey through life. It makes for some very interesting and thought provoking reading.

The articles have been collated and published by Mr. Ram Krishnaswamy, from Sydney, Australia, himself a past student of IIT Madras. The book was officially released on Dec.19th 2008 at IIT Madras, during the PAN IIT meet, by the well known scientist Mr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, India and who was recently conferred the prestigious Padmashree Award by the Govt.of India.

7TH DECEMBER 2008 


Ramya Kannan

Twelve sisters of Franciscan Clarist Congregation work in shifts round the clock


— Photo: V. Ganesan 

EXEMPLARY SERVICE: A nurse attending on a cancer patient at Jeevodaya Hospice at Madhavaram in Chennai.

CHENNAI: In its near isolation, the Jeevodaya Hospice at Mathur, Manali, is a picture of wonderful calm from the outside. Inside the ‘House of Joy,’ where 21 patients, battling cancer’s pain and devastation, the peace is equally splendid. For the patients, there is only a sense of contentment that, as they stand at life’s exit door, there is someone to hold their hand.

“Death is a normal event. But as we live and we die, let us do so with dignity,” says Sr. Lalitha Teresa, secretary and administrator, Jeevodaya Hospice, summing up the philosophy of the first ever hospice to be set up in Chennai. Initially started to take care of poor cancer patients, Jeevodaya soon realised that cancer made no distinction. “It is equally difficult to take care of rich people with cancer who have moved beyond what medical treatment can do for them. So we decided to take everyone in,” Sr. Lalitha explains.

Jeevodaya, promoted by the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (the order of the recently canonised Sr. Alphonsa), Alvernia Province, Irinjalakuda, was registered in 1990 to provide succour to advanced cancer patients. The in-patient services of Jeevodaya were commissioned in 1995 with 10 beds, but the number of beds was soon increased to 50 to meet the rising demand.

No patient pays for any service at Jeevodaya, even if he or she can afford it. “When the patient is here, everything is free of cost. Since we take people who cannot pay, we do not want it to seem as if those who can pay are getting better services. When they leave, they are welcome to donate in cash or kind, if they so feel,” Sr. Lalitha explains.

Twelve sisters of the order, trained in palliative care, work in shifts round the clock, tending to the patients, dressing their festering wounds, counselling patients and their kin, feeding the patients and sometimes, listening to them talk. A team of doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, counsellors and volunteers, all trained in palliative care, form the highly efficient team.
Sr. Lalitha says: “There may be a limit for cure, but there cannot be a limit for care. Each person matters to us till the very last moment of his life. We do all we can not only to help a person die peacefully but also to enable him/her to live with dignity.” Each member of the staff knows each patient and their families intimately.

So far 3,972 patients have been admitted at Jeevodaya. The hospice follows the WHO protocol for pain relief, but over the years, has developed its own techniques that have now been described as the ‘Jeevodaya Procedures.’ But it is the care and tenderness of the staff that endears the hospice to its many patients; it makes them want to come back to die in peace at the hospice even if they are able go home.

Jeevodaya also started a pain and palliative care outpatient clinic and day-care centre at Kilpauk in April, 2006. Manjula Krishnaswamy is the medical director at the centre that is open on all working days, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The team also helps with home-based palliative care by visiting terminally ill patients. Awareness and detection camps are also held periodically, and Jeevodaya is now one of the regional training centres of the Indian Association of Palliative Care.
Even as it has spread its wings, Jeevodaya’s core ideology still remains the restoration and triumph of the human spirit, no matter how broken or eroded it is by disease.
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NOV 2008
As Long as there is Life, there is Hope
- by Shumit Gupta
as Published in India se On line in 2008



“The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart”
~Nikolai Lenin

According to the World Health Organization, Cancer has become one of the ten leading causes of death in India. At present there are 2.5 million cancer cases and nearly 0.8 million new cases occurring every year, of which approximately half are terminal. Statistically, every hour, cancer kills at least 50 people in India and claims 100 new patients.

Despite being one of the few developing countries that have a National Cancer Control Program (launched in 1976), the vastness of the sub-continent coupled with the rapidly escalating magnitude of the problem has resulted in an uphill battle to both raise awareness (specifically in rural areas) and in parallel provide the required infrastructure & support system to treat cancer patients. Consequently the tragedy is that the majority of cancers (70%) are detected at such a late stage of disease that treatment is ineffective and far too cost-prohibitive even if sought.

A large proportion of cancer patients therefore live in isolation, even within their own homes; shunned by society. Families with such a patient in their midst more often than not do not have enough money to provide them with medical assistance and support them till their death. The disease eats the patient away slowly until his/her condition deteriorates till the point of expiry - a journey plagued with pain & sorrow.

In recent years, groups of committed people belonging to various religions and from different parts of the country have come together with the aim of rendering continuing service to poor and abandoned cancer patients through hospices dedicated to fulfill this need.

The word ‘hospice’ was first connected with the care of the dying in 1842 when Madame Jeanne Garnier founded the Dames de Calvaire in Lyon, France. Since then, hospice care has become a worldwide movement and has been hailed as a social innovation. It has enabled people to change the way they approach death and dying. In hospices, multi-disciplinary teams offer palliative care, giving not only freedom from pain but also calm, peace, and dignity. Their objective is to alleviate the suffering by addressing physical, emotional, social, as well as spiritual needs.

In India the impact of such institutions is even more amplified than in the Western world, where of late they are (understandably) steering away from hospice and moving towards home care; as these countries have developed an excellent health care system along the way. The hospice movement, or for that matter palliative care itself, is still in its infancy in India.

Hospice teams are very special, dedicated people who, in addition to caring for patients; also help family members left behind when final good-byes have been said. Hospice care doesn't stop with the death of the patient. Caring goes on and on until one day those being cared for find the strength to help others just like them much like the “pay it forward” concept.

"My cancer scare changed my life. I'm grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.”
~Olivia-Newton John

The Jeevodaya Hospice in Mathur village, 12km north of Chennai, is run by a very special team of committed individuals who collectively provide free palliative care for patients with advanced forms of cancer. Jeevodaya is led by its founding members, the Sister-in-Charge, Sister Lalitha Theresa FCC (who leads a team of nuns belonging to the Franciscan Clarists of Kerala) as well as the Honorary Medical Director Dr Manjula Krishnaswamy whose lifetime dream was to set up such an institution in order to channel her medical expertise towards a worthy cause.

Jeevodaya means "As long as there is Life there is Hope". Jeevodaya is the second oldest hospice in India (after Shanti Avedna in Mumbai) and was registered in Chennai in August 15th 1990. Jeevodaya commenced inpatient care in 1995 (in its formative years, Jeevodaya organized cancer awareness camps & workshops to raise awareness) and is a non-religious, non-profit organisation, Jeevodaya has thus far helped about 1300 fellow human beings to die with dignity and in peace.

The services provided by Jeevodaya are provided completely free of charge, beyond considerations of caste and creed (as Cancer itself does not recognize any such differentiation). It has facilities to look after 50 patients at any given time and is administered by a team of 17 sisters, who have dedicated themselves to providing round-the-clock service.

Jeevodaya, provides to the needy, a bed to sleep, clothes to wear, suitable meals, and above all pain relief and palliative care and the right to die with dignity as every human being should. Jeevodaya also organises burials and cremations to suit the religious convictions of the deceased.

In a letter to Jeevodaya in May 1994, Mother Teresa wrote –

"Continue to be God's instruments of love and compassion to the dying victims of Cancer - for whatever you do to the least of God's brethren, you do it to God Himself"

Every human being on the planet has the right to live and die with dignity. It is with this firm belief, as well as the continued support from well-wishers around the globe; that has allowed Jeevodaya to ensure poor cancer patients do not fade away in agony, pain and loneliness. Jeevodaya relies completely on donations from the benevolent public who believe in making a difference.

“Little drops make a mighty ocean”

For more information, please visit www.jeevodaya.com

If you are sending donations direct to India, Please draw all bank drafts and cheques in favour of "Jeevodaya" and mailed to:

The Treasurer Jeevodaya
1/272 Kamaraj Road,
Mathur, Manali P.O.,
Chennai - 600 068.
Tamil Nadu.
Phone: +91-044-2555 5565 / 2555 9671
e-mail –jeevodaya@vsnl.com

** All donations are exempt under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act
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YEAR 2006
Sat 7th October 2006

Hospices and human dignity - The Hindu

Lynne Connor

October 7 is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care worldwide

WHAT IS hospice care?

It's not a subject we talk about every day — but here we are at the beginning of the 21st century and still people are dying in avoidable pain and distress. The word hospice was first connected with the care of the dying in 1842 when Madame Jeanne Garnier founded the Dames de Calvaire in Lyon, France. The first modern hospice, St Christopher's in South London, opened in 1967. Since then hospice care has become a worldwide movement. It has enabled people to change the way they approach death and dying and is possibly the greatest social innovation in living memory.

In hospices multi-disciplinary teams offer palliative care, giving not only freedom from pain but also calm, peace, and dignity. As human lives come to an end hospices care for the whole person. Their objective is to meet all of a person's needs — physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. Not only do they care for the person who is dying, they also care for those who love them — their families.

This care is a philosophy that begins with the affirmation of death as a natural part of life. Values of respect, choice, empowerment, holistic care, and compassion are paramount. Within hospices a range of services can be found — pain control, symptom relief, skilled nursing care, counselling, complementary therapies, spiritual care, physiotherapy, reminiscence, art, music, beauty treatment, and bereavement support. What must be remembered is that nearly half of all people who enter hospices return home once symptom relief and pain control have been balanced. All this care is free of charge and is provided on individual needs and personal choice.

Does South India feature in this worldwide movement? Well, yes it does! The Jeevodaya Hospice in Mathur village, 12km north of Chennai, is run by a very special team of committed individuals who collectively provide free palliative care for up to 50 in-patients with advanced forms of cancer. They are led by one of their founding members, the inspirational Sister-in-Charge, Sister Lalitha Theresa FCC. Jeevodaya is a non-religious charitable and non-profit organisation, which was established in August 1991. It's one of the most challenging humanitarian projects launched in South India.

Jeevodaya is not alone here. The Dean Foundation, a non-profit medical charitable trust based in the Aspirain Garden Colony, Kilpauk, Chennai, offers palliative care to out-patients. It also offers home care, information services, and complementary therapies.

Why do I write this article now? October 7, 2006 is a unified day of action to celebrate and support Hospice and Palliative Care worldwide. It would be wrong not to highlight the work of so many passionate and committed people, both professionals and those who give their services voluntarily, where ever they are.

Why do I write on hospice care? My mother was cared for in a U.K. hospice when her cancer became too advanced for me to care for her in our family home. I too was supported and cared for as together my mother and I made our journey down memory lane to the end of her life. It was hospice staff who cared for my six-year-old daughter when my husband was recalled for duty in the Gulf. Cancer is no respector of who and whom it strikes. My father-in-law was also cared for in a hospice in the U.K. Dedicated staff made sure my mother-in-law was cared for too as her husband battled with cancer.

Hospice teams are very special, dedicated people who also help those family members left behind when final good-byes have been said. There is a light as we go forward because hospice care doesn't stop with the death of the patient. Caring goes on and on until one day those being cared for find the strength to help others just like them
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14th July 2006

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Friday, July 14, 2006 - 12:00 PM
102-103


Catch Them Young!

Manjula Krishnaswamy, M.B.B.S., M.S., Palliative Care, Jeevodaya Cancer Hospice, Chennai, India, #61/1, New No-64/1 Gangadeeswarar Koil Street,, Puraswalkam, Chennai, 600084, India

Objective: 1. To target children (age group 9-15 years) to prevent them from picking up the tobacco habit. 2. To use this children (peer group) as agents of change to bring about an attitudinal and societal revolution to foster a tobacco free world.

Methods: A parallel arm of our hospice is preventive Oncology. I have been conducting awareness, education and cancer screening camps in urban slums and rural areas. I have for eight years channelised my efforts to targeting children in the vulnerable age group, so that they do not pick up the tobacco habit at all. We use audio-visuals to scientifically explain the ill effects of tobacco. We create awareness among students about the surreptitious ways in which the industry introduces tobacco in chewable forms (paan), glamorizing the product by advertisements and sponsoring of cultural shows and sporting events. We have opened a permanent cancer exhibition in the hospice with the oversized models of a cigarette and ash tray depicting the diseases caused by tobacco to catch the imagination of the young. We have also conducted mass anti-tobacco rallies involving the youth.

Results: In the past seven years I have covered 23 schools and more than 3000 children in our education programmes. As the whole exercise is to bring about a behavioral change it is difficult to quantify the results. A large scale survey, however, may be worth-while.
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YEAR 2005

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Today has been heavy...

The day started normally. Got up in the morning, did some work, checked up on some other work.

And then, Mom told me that we have to visit a Cancer Hospice called Jeevodaya. A trip to Jeevodaya has been pending right from the time we went to Coimbatore. They take care of Cancer patients, in the terminal stages. The patients are usually abandoned, or they come there of their own accord.

As I entered there, I had no idea what I was going to face. As I had mentioned in one of my previous posts about Mayuri, a very small girl who was afflicted with cancer when she was 4, and she wanted to meet me because she liked my title song in 'Anbulla Snehidiye'. They got in touch with us and then I went over to meet the kid. This was at Apollo. 3 years back.

But this.........

One of the first things I saw as I entered was a board which talked about, the day's food donors and the death anniversaries of the people who had breathed their last there.

And then I went across to some sort of a notice board where they had posted the pictures of the people who were suffering from Oral Cancer. It was like NOTHING that I have ever imagined. And then there were notes from the patients, which told parents should make sure that their kids dont smoke, dont drink, dont have Pan Parag, keep away from bad company, and basically have clean habits. There was this one picture of a man who had oral cancer. To describe it grossly it was as if the cancer was just corroding the area in and around his mouth, half of his face had been eaten up by cancer, to reveal something that you might only think will appear in movies and nightmares.

Then the doctor, somehow, was maybe reading my face and the way it was changing, and she said she would understand if I didnt see the patients after all. That was when I broke down. And so did mom, but not as openly as I. I knew she was undergoing the same as I, but she had a ver dignified manner about it. I felt the air was charged with a feeling of dread, impending death, remorse, anger, desolation... all at the same time. This Hospice is at Madhavaram. Almost about 30-40 kilometers from where I live.

My stomach knotted, convulsed. Whatever. And it was then I realized how there were these hundreds of people I know who CRIB CRIB AND CRIB, about their lives, bosses, their Parents, Girlfriends, Boyfriends, Children, Spouse, wotnot... And how they think its sooooo God damn cool to smoke, drink or smoke 'POT' as I have recently learned, drugs.... what not. Why in God's name??? Its abuse to themselves and those around them.

How people fail to realize the gift of life that we have. That our face or any part of our body, insides or outsides is not being eaten up by something, that they are not looked at with pity, looked at by a repulsed face, and to lose what is most important to each human - self worth and dignity....That they can still move about, drive their cars, go out live their life, without having to wonder when its your time. And also that the body we have is such an amazing thing.

Mom then went in to see the patients and she told me that it was nothing like the pictures. And that I must come in to remove the grotesque ideas that I have imagined by then. I went in with the same feeling of dread. Saw a lot of people were down due to the same cancer stick or the bottle of carcinogenics. We lost our appetites. And I am still filled with the feeling of dread. Stillness looming around.. its scary.. the What If....? It will take us a long time to get back to normalcy.

I met a few people, clinging to my mom, heard a very old lady giving loud yelps of pain. And then there was another old lady who loved to sing. She kept singing one song after the other. There was another who was an attention monger, wouldnt let the doctor or anyone else look at anyone else but her, a 20 year old succumbed 5 months after she had been married, and has been paralyzed hip down due to a tumour in her spine, and its now almost 1 1/2 years since she is bed ridden.

The patients were then called and I sang for them. And then both me and mom sang. And this was the first time I sang without closing my eyes, and was never as loud.

Some of the things that the patients have to go through is the extreme pain, and then the odour. They live with it and they realize it troubles the others. A lot want to die. Some live for the moment. And they all realize how valuable life is. And live for the moment, with as much good thoughts as possible. Each day is a struggle, wake up to pain, strut through the day with pain, sleep with pain, dream of pain. And the curse of being dependant on someone else for your personal hygiene. That no one wants you anymore.

There was a lot of anger I felt after I got back into the car when we were leaving after having spent close to 4 hours there. Fury. That people can let something , well what can I say, as stupid as cigarette or alcohol rule their lives. And with smoking all those people ruin the lives of the others too. You drink, fine you drink, you spoil whats in you. You smoke, you spoil what outside you. Your family, friends who dont smoke. Why, maybe smoking should be an essential part of global warming as well.. it is as dangerous, if not more dangerous than vehicular emission. I wonder if this will lead to some kind of a genetic mutation as well. Maybe it will enter the gene pool.

The question of whether cancer can be hereditary is a debatable issue. There isn't apparently, concrete proof, about this. But the doctors do say, that if there is more than 1 case of cancer in your family (in your blood line), you must take more number of tests, be extra careful. But it certainly doesnt mean that you will get it.

True, there are people who have been smoking through their lives have had nothing wrong with them, and those who have had clean habits and succumbed to cancer. To all those who pooh-pooh all this, well God save you.

There are some cases which can be prevented, like oral cancer. The bottom line is this,
Dont smoke
Dont have Pan Parag, tobacco, and avoid alcohol as much as possible
Women - Get your Pap-Smear tests done every year after you are 30, and also conduct personal routine examinations.
Have regular health check ups.
Have a high level of personal hygiene.
And I think it could be good to stay away from chemicals, in whatever form they come, a

After all this, even if people especiallywanna smoke, they can go into an air tight room smoke all they want, not get married, and even if they do, not procreate. Apparently, its not tough for the nicotine in you to enter your baby. I am ranting. But Guess that happens when you go so close to people who are living death.

Now I see why Dr. Shanta of Cancer Institute got the Ramon Magsasay. She should have been given the highest honour ages ago. And all those who have done and are doing significant work in the field of palliative care. Palliative care is the care of cancer patients, to give simple definition.

There are people, who work with patients on a regular basis and find out how positive they are towards life and how they live the moments.

And now what do WE need to learn to live the moments and live our life well? I guess we all can do some good to humanity, if we can just stay off certain practices which are totally unnecessary. And it would be good if the realization came, before we lose someone close to us, and maybe someone who is most important to most of us - OURSELVES. And this is when I feel that cigarettes should be taken out of the market.

This may not have been a very well worded post, but this has been a pouring out of sorts. Maybe I would wish I had written it better.

If this is not clear enough, maybe each of us needs to visit a Cancer Hospice closest to us. To realize that we are God damn lucky, that we are still in one piece, hale and hearty, and that we can make whatever choices and go ahead with it, and more than anything else, to show people who are suffering from cancer that we care.

Posted by Chinmayi Sripada /Chinmayee at 9:12 PM 

Labels: Days in my life
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Year 2004
Jan 19, 2004


In the end, cancer is a disease about which no one has a clue—how or why or where it might strike; what causes it, how to diagnose it early or what is a definite cure for a particular cancer. Cancer strikes and slinks away revealing nothing, like the crab it is named after. The stark reality is that more people die than survive the various cures and treatments that are forever being rolled out. 
Despite all this, there are surprisingly few places where the incurable may be cared for in their remaining days. Jeevodaya near Chennai is a rare exception. Located in a serene campus about 15 km north of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, it has 50 beds in very clean surroundings. It lavishes loving care on the dying. It deserves your active support. 

Although it was begun and is being run by sisters of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation of Kerala, Jeevodaya is a non-religious, non-profit organisation. Sister Lalitha Teresa, the ever smiling nun who is the current Secretary drifted into Chennai about 15 years ago. She was looking for a way to give expression to the love her religion had engendered in her. Jeevodaya is the result. Early funding came from her congregation and overseas, but today it depends on local donors. 

Sr. Lalitha says that all the spotlessly maintained buildings in the Jeevodaya campus, were built on faith-- and a conviction that money can always be found for a good cause. It was. And help, too. She says, there were many obstacles and problems but invariably solutions arrived from individuals, local people and even bureaucrats. 

Dr. R Nanjunda Rao, a doyen medical practitioner of Chennai is the President. Dr Snehalata and Dr Manjula Krishnaswamy, two lady oncologists have been associated from the beginning, helping Sr. Lalitha realise her dream. [By a cruel irony, Dr Snehalata herself fell a victim to cancer recently.] 

A team of smiling sisters minister to the patients. There is a chapel yes, but there is absolutely no religious compulsion. Prayers of all religions are welcome and encouraged. All festivals are celebrated. Entertainment and recreation programmes are arranged. When the end comes, last rites are performed based on the patient’s religious beliefs. 

Dr Manjula, the Medical Director, explains the need for constant palliative care for terminally ill patients. For example, morphine is often the only drug that gives patients some comfort by relieving their pain. To keep pain at bay, it needs to be administered at four hourly intervals. But morphine is hardest to come by in India for several reasons. There is a mistaken belief that it is addictive. “It is not,” asserts Dr Manjula. “Addiction has to be distinguished from physical dependance, which means patients may have to continue taking morphine for long periods to keep themselves pain free. However, it is possible for the dose to be reduced and even discontinued, without any difficulty as the patient’s pain decreases.” Although India is a large producer of opium of which morphine is a derivative, laws have wrapped it impenetrably in order to guard against misuse. As a result, a physician prescribing it has to go through endless paper work. Most are unwilling to or cannot find the time. But Jeevodaya has earned the government’s trust as a responsible user and the untiring nuns are prompt in reaching it to those in pain. 

Jeevodaya has also dormitory facilities for patient’s relatives to stay in. Altogether, it serves in ways most families can’t. Sr Lalitha says smilingly: “Yes, we do need all the money we can get because the services, food and medicines we offer are free for those who are needy. But do also write and tell your readers to refer to us anyone who needs to be cared for. We would be happy to welcome them.” 

Donations to Jeevodaya are exempt from income Tax under Section 80G.
Address: 1/272 [Old: 1/86] Kamaraj Road
Mathur
Chennai 600 068
Phone: 044-2555 55 65/ 2555 96 71
eMail: jeevodaya@vsnl.com
web-site: jeevodaya.com
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YEAR 2000

Saturday 18 November 2000
Mission Of Mercy - The Hindu 

A few months ago, I was sitting down to a late lunch when the telephone rang. It was my friend, to say that she had just received the news of her husband’s death in a hospice and would I accompany her? He had been suffering from cancer. That is how I visited Jeevodaya, a Centre for terminal cancer patients, run by the jeevodaya public Charitable Trust, in Mathur on the outskirts of Chennai.

The hospice nestled among sylvan surroundings. The tranquil garden spelt a welcome, as did the sisters who received us. The sisters, who are the caregivers, joined us in our prayers for the dead. They then helped us with arrangements for the cremation next morning.

As a first time visitor. I was invited to go round the hospice. It was a spacious modern building, a big prayer hall being the heart of the place. Early in the morning the sisters would gather in the chapel for prayers. I was amazed at the cleanliness of the place, the smiling faces of the sisters and the loving and tender care lavished on the patients. They are drawn from all sections of society – the rich, the middle class, and the poor and from all castes, creeds and religions. No fees are charged. I was reminded of the song,” when I needed a neighbour, were you there? And the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter, were you there? At Jeevodaya “they were there” (the sisters) cleaning them, making their beds, dressing their sores, feeding them light meals prepared by themselves and administering pain killers.

Dedicated doctors voluntarily monitor the care given. Many of these destitute cancer patients are picked up from the roadside and hospitals by social workers. The well-to-do patients are brought in by their own families. If a patient has no relatives and passes away the sisters take care of their last rites. This hospice is heaven for unfortunate people “limping along slowly and painfully to finish the last dates of their lives.”

So there is hope for us yet – despite the cynicism, the corruption and the violence prevalent in our country – hope that the light of compassion lit by ordinary people will eventually triumph over evil.

by Rebecca Chandy
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Monday 28 August 2000
A home of hope for cancer patients
The Times Of India 

CHENNAI: ``When stifled by the pangs of pain, when all strengths fail and even tears go dry, we stand by you to caress, comfort and care for you'', reads the motto of Jeevodaya - a voluntary organisation dedicated to the service of the Advanced Cancer Patients, till the last light vanishes into death's dark abyss.

Located in the serene environs of Mathur village, near Mannali in north Chennai, the hospitium on nearly 1.5 acres of land, is promoted by Franciscan congregation of Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district of Kerala.

According to the National Cancer Registry Programme, about 6.50 lakh cancer cases are registered here every year on an average. By the end of this year, there will be six million cancer patients in India as against 1.5 million in 1996.

Says the executive director of Jeevodaya, Sister Samuel, that this hospice, the second in India and only one in the south, was formally inaugurated on February 11, 1995, though the first patient was admitted on March that year. What was started with just two beds, had now grown into a 50-bed hospice, with over 20 patients under treatment on any given day.

Four members of the congregation from Irinjalakuda came to Chennai in 1995 to do social service, when Udaya Mahadevan, an academic, gave them the idea of starting a hospitium for the Advanced Cancer Patients. Thus was born Jeevodaya, recalls Sister Samuel.

Everything is free here, the sister says. Since the inmates are Advanced patients, death is a frequent visitor, almost every week. A total of 1096 patients were admitted of whom 667 had breathed their last. Seeing the end coming nearer, relatives of some patients take them home.

At present, there are 23 patients, most of them women, suffering from cervical and breast cancer. There are a few men who suffered from mouth cancer.

``The demand for admission is ever increasing,'' says Samuel. A new patient is admitted into the hospice only when a bed is vacated following the death of a patient. Upon death of a person, relatives are informed to take possession of the body. If none is forthcoming, the body is taken in a hearse to the government general hospital, about 20 kms from Mathur village, to be kept in the mortuary.

The hospitium was started with liberal donations from Catholic institutions in Germany and Italy in 1995, now incurs a monthly expenditure of Rs 66,000. Some companies donate soaps, perfumes, beds, cots. The private sector cancer institute in Adyar in Chennai, which used to give morphine free of cost, has now stopped the supply. Now morphine worth Rs 10,000 was being bought every month from Kerala, says the sister.

It is, therefore, only an asylum for the afflicted, who otherwise have to die on the streets, Sister Samuel says.

The hospice runs absolutely on donations. The Tamil Nadu government charges no sales tax on the medicines and equipment supplied to it. Rotary and Lions clubs and individual donors help the asylum in meeting the expenditure.(PTI
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Monday 28 August 2000

Hands that care at the jaws of death
ChennaiOnline - 

It is not unusual to meet a person who awaits something to happen in his life. Anticipation. Expectation. The fulfillment of an anticipation and the wait for it are thrilling indeed. But there is one expectation in life, whose fulfillment dreads anyone. The wait for death, the most cruel and merciless of anything that one can wait for. Yet, all the cancer patients in an advanced stage of the disease are held by the powerful tentacles of the crab, counting their days. They know the fact that their life is drawing to a close. Just imagine the kind of trauma and torment that it would cause, to live with this knowledge and to wake up everyday in disbelief that one still exists and with a fear of the dagger drawing closer. All they would need is a hand to soothe. A hand to give relief from their pain, or at least, reduce it to an extent.

Well, that is what Jeevodaya is trying to provide. Jeevodaya is run by the nuns belonging to the Franciscan Clarists of Kerala, in a village by name Mathur, close to Manali, Chennai. Sister Lalitha of Jeevodaya spoke to us. From a conversation with her…

Q: What are the aims and purposes of Jeevodaya?

Cancer is the most dreaded of all diseases, excepting perhaps, AIDS. Medicine and Technology are yet to find a solution to this killer disease that takes away the lives of so many innocent people. According to the World Health Organisation more than 60 lakhs have lost their lives in India last year, due to cancer.

The worst part of it is the disease surfaces and is detectable only in its advanced stage in most cases, when it is already too late. Cancer patients soon live in isolation, even within their own homes. The family that has such a patient goes through an emotional upheaval and in many cases they do not have enough money to provide them with medical assistance and support them till their death. The disease eats the patient away slowly, even as the family stands and watches by his or her side with sympathy and tears.

Jeevodaya was started in February 1995 with the ideal of providing a peaceful atmosphere and to minimise the mental agony that they pass through, in their last days on earth.

Q: How do you achieve this?

The pain of living with the burdensome thought of approaching death can be understood only by the person who undergoes it. We train them to face it calmly and try to remove the fear of death from their minds. We give them morphine, to reduce their sufferings, as approved by the WHO. They are thus enabled to spend their last days in peace.

Q: Are there any charges that you levy for this service?

Jeevodaya is a non-profit organisation. We provide this service absolutely free of charge, beyond considerations of caste and creed. We have facilities to look after 50 of them, at a time. There are 17 sisters, who have dedicated themselves in their service, available all the time, round the clock. Jeevodaya has enabled around 150 cancer patients to die with dignity and in peace, during the past six years.

Q: Your services are commendable. But are you doing anything to create an awareness among people so that the incidence of cancer is minimised, if not eradicated?

We have been organising Cancer Awareness Camps, right from 1991,even before the establishment of Jeevodaya. We identified 75 persons in Kotturpuram as afflicted with the disease. Normally, there would be no symptoms in the initial stages. But a thorough examination would reveal its existence. We referred these persons to the Cancer Institute, Adyar.

Q: How do patients approach Jeevodaya? And which is the state that has a large number of them?

Normally patients do not approach us directly. They are sent to us by the Adyar Cancer Institute, Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, Government General Hospital, etc. Most of the patients referred to us are from the Southern States of Andhra, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

They belong to all ages. Cancer does not have differences of caste, creed sex or age, you see. We provide them all assistance needed, and support them till their death.

Jeevodaya is functioning at:
1/86 Kamarajar Salai,
Mathur, Manali (Post)
Chennai - 600 068
Phone: 5555565, 5559671

English version: Hari Krishnan
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