Dealing with illness at home- through the eyes of the young

Categories: Community Engagement.

The photography competition was organised in association with Birla Industrial and Technological Museum and Dr Caesar Photography in Kolkota. An exhibition of selected photographs was also conducted, narrating the stories not only of people who have experienced sickness but also that of the people who care for them and live with them. 

These photographs exhibited were selected from the entries submitted by school students. The three best entries from each age category won prizes. Mr E. Islam,  Director of Birla Industrial and Technological museum distributed prizes  to the winners. 

“On the spot caption writing” competition on the exhibited photographs was held. Students were asked  to choose any of the photographs (except their own entry) in the exhibition and write down a caption based on the theme. This was judged by Dr Someswar Bhowmick, Director of Education Media Research Centre, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. The best caption in each three categories was awarded. 

A half day interactive session on: “How to cope with the illness of a loved one” was also organised. This was facilitated by experts from the fields of Child Psychology and Palliative Care. Dr Sanghamitra Bora, Dr Abhijit K. Dam and Mrs Aditi Sinha were among the panellists. The program was structured  to help young people to express their innermost hopes and fears and learn to deal with them in a sensitive manner.

As doctors, professionals, managers and health care workers, we all have insights and experiences to share while working with young people and civil society. This workshop has been an opportunity to capture these insights and to build them into the wider programmes of the organisation in the future.

Objectives:

The objectives of the program are  to facilitate children and young people to: 

  • find out more about living with and caring for sick family members
  • share examples of good practice and success stories 
  • share bitter experiences while dealing with similar situations
  • explore opportunities for working together through CareVision India programme 

Impact:

A total of 50 students took part in the events and talked about issues and experiences related to the themes.The expressions mostly came out while writing thoughts on the tribute tree. It is not only important to advocate palliative care principles but also to help children be sensitised to such issues as suffering, death and dying. It was seen that children, when given a chance, do not inhibit their thoughts on such issues and in fact add much more to what adults might anticipate. Overall, it was a successful event for teachers, parents and children.

CareVision India is a newly established NGO that aims to provide affordable home based palliative care, information and guidance to terminally ill patients and their families in and around Kolkata. We believe this is a critical need in today’s circumstances and there are very few organisations or initiatives that are providing this service at present.