Redefining cancer care – Nihal & Shyama Kaviratne #WATWB

For  most people retirement means taking life easy . But Nihal Kaviratne and his wife Shyama are not most people . Returning home to India after a successful corporate career of over 40 years, the couple had no fixed plan of what to do next.

Despite their busy lives in the corporate world, they had always found time to do some charitable work but now with time on their hands, they wanted to do more. But they didn’t know what.

Getting the answer

One day, while driving past the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, Nihal was horrified at the sight of patients and their families actually sleeping on the footpath outside the very hospital that they were being treated in. And some of them were little children.

Nihal and Shyama , with their own funds,  set up  St. Jude India Child Care Centres an 8 units shelter providing free accommodation for outstation children coming to Mumbai for cancer treatment. 

Image for Children suffering from cancer
Cancer is a word that strikes fear in every heart . More so when you are living in rural India and find that your little one has Cancer. Every year there are 1000s of children who make the trek to the cities to find a cure for this disease .

Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai is the pioneering hospital that literally has 1000s of people showing up each day. For many of the patients there is no place to stay as the warm welcome from relatives soon dries up. Very often they have no option but to stay on the streets right outside the very hospital they are being treated in!

Redefining Cancer Care

With the holistic care provided by St. Jude India ChildCare Centres fewer children have abandoned treatment and has raised the benchmark for cancer care in India.

St. Jude India ChikdCare Centres is a not for profit organisation run on corporate lines with the support of several volunteers .

I admire Nihal and his wife for their tireless efforts in establishing and steering St. Jude.

They  have revolutionised paediatric oncology care in India and set up a new model for NGOs.

Truly, their retirement years are more enriched by the succour they provide to others.
I  amparticipating in #WATWB an initiative to inform people about good hosted by

Nature’s Bounty – the red leafed Japanese Maple #ThursdayTreeLove

Have you ever seen a tree with red leaves?

Well I found one growing in my friend’s back garden.

I’ve always been fascinated by trees and was keen on joining  Parul Thakur’s interesting theme #ThursdayTreeLove.

Unfortunately, I never found an interesting tree to photograph and post till yesterday I saw this gorgeous maroon leafed Maple in my friend’s backyard . I thought it was just perfect for this meme.

Image for red leafed glory
While the trees of New Jersey are all green with new foliage, this Japanese Maple sports a glorious red foliage.

As trees go, this one’s a  a baby . Just 3 years old. It stands in place of a once  magnificent old tree that was felled by Hurricane Sandy that created havoc in New Jersey in its wake.

The Japanese Maple is a deciduous tree that is bare in Winter  but come Spring , and its leaves go from being bright red to darker wine colored in the summer to red again in the Fall.


I’m joining Parul Thakur his week, with her post  #ThursdayTreeLove 10.

If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link to Parul’s post.

Isn’t this a wonderful way to appreciate Nature’s bounty? 

Image for BellyBytes

Morning Walk in an urban wood

A walk in in the woods

Image of running waterAfter about a year of trying to walk in the morning, I finally managed it today. I accompanied Daughter No 1 to her office and had to stay out of her hair while she got some jobs done so she told me to go for a walk on their campus forest trail.

A forest in the middle of a campus?

That was news to me . This was something I had to check out for myself.

Image for the trail

The forest looked quite dense and scary. Even though the office was in a regular urbanised area, there had been spottings of the occasional bear. As for deer, there were plenty of them scampering around in the day. And it common enough to see them grazing around in your backyard.

Unfounded fears

But once on the trail, I realised that it was far from scary. In actual fact it was calm and peaceful .

Image of wild flowers
It’s been a long time since I walked in the morning and even longer since I walked in such a wooded area.

Image of bark stump with lichen
It was almost magical with the jackdaws crowing in the trees and the tall grasses growing along the path. Tiny yellow flowers, dainty dandelions and some other white flowers I can’t identify popped out of the lush greenery that abounded .

Image of wildflowers

From time to time I stopped to take in the sounds and see the fine grasses gently swaying.  I could hardly imagine this was part of an office space!

Yet it was because all work and no play does make Jack a dull boy. Trees have a soothing effect and tramping through a wood is a great way to think out a problem or de-stress.


What do you think?

  Image for BellyBytes