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.
[Tweet “Today St. Jude has a presence in 5 major cities and in April of this year , admitted its 10,000th patient!”]
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.
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