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INDIA MS PERSON OF THE YEAR 2019

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INDIA MS PERSON OF THE YEAR! 2019 Group Captain Prabal Malaker

A retired Indian Airforce Test Pilot who has flown almost every aircraft in the Air Force inventory in his time from MIGs’, Jaguars’, and Mirages’, to large transport carriers like the Avro and AN-32. He is a qualified flying instructor, who has imparted training to several young pilots.

His message to fellow MS persons is very straight forward, “If you have a problem, accept it. Work within those challenges and carry on with life. Keep your mind strong and paths will open up”, says a 63-year-old Multiple Sclerosis (MS) person, who has never learned to give up against all odds.

Life seemed to be going well until August 1998, when he was diagnosed with the progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis. He had a near-death experience when his plane, upon landing caught fire. Neurologists said that this could have possibly triggered off an autoimmune response to cause MS. In 1999, he was permanently downgraded from flying and his career came to a standstill. He had to retire from active service at the young old age of 52 years!

This was the time when he was introduced to MSSI Delhi by none other than Mrs. Sheela Chitnis, Co-founder of MSSI, by his sister Gopa who was living in Mumbai at that time. He joined the Delhi office as a volunteer to serve many other people like him. He has been in a leadership role and together with a team of some very dynamic volunteers who work shoulder to shoulder to improve the lives of people living with MS. He has been instrumental in setting up systems and procedures for smooth execution of projects, services, and initiatives that are offered to registered members of the society within Delhi NCR.

Prabal is a foody and a movie buff, however, going to movie halls and restaurants in a wheelchair was becoming a challenge since most of these places were not handicap friendly. He decided instead of getting stuck in the house and giving up all the things he enjoyed he would embark on a single point mission; To bring about change in movie halls and restaurants so that a wheelchair user could enjoy barrier-free access. Due to his single-handed and persistent effort, the Disability Commissioner has served notice to Movie Hall Operators which includes PVR, INOX, and Cinepolis A notice has also been served to 480 restaurants and the hotel of Delhi State to conform to the harmonized guidelines of barrier-free access for PwD.

Being an avid traveller, he has conducted accessibility audits for hotels and tourist sites in Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ranakpur, Sarnath, Varanasi and Sri Lanka for a Cox & Kings Accessible Holiday segment called Enable Travel.

He heads the advocacy arm of the MSSI Delhi chapter and has been engaging with the Delhi State Disability Commissioner on a regular basis to bring about change in policy and assessment guidelines for disability and advocates for the right of people with Multiple Sclerosis.

We wish him good luck and good health always!

Disability Week Bengaluru Chapter

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As a part of Disability Week Bengaluru Chapter showcased the #My Invisible MS campaign photographs at ANZ, Bengaluru. More than 500 people visited the kiosk and Shankar Subramanian gave a talk on disability etiquettes and invisible disabilities.

 

Seeing the Unseen

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To Commemorate World MS Day MSSI Bengaluru Chapter hosted a photography exhibition – Seeing the Unseen depicting the pictures of Invisible Symptoms of MS.

The Exhibition was held from 29th  to 31st May 2019 at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru which explored the voice of MS persons about their Invisible Symptoms.

Chief Guests for the event was Rotarian Suresh Hari, District Governor RMV Club, Ms. Vasanthi Hariprakash – Social media influencer & Journalist, Rotarian Rajaram & Punkaj Gupta, Hon. Secretary of MSSI, Bengaluru Chapter.

World MS Day program started with the lighting of the lamp by the chief guests Mr. Viresh Oberoi – MSSI President, Mrs. Renuka Malaker – National Hon. Secretary MSSI, Guest of Honor RJ Melodee, Mr. Mariappan, Asst. Director – Dept. of Empowerment of Differently Abled & Senior citizens, Karnataka Government. The invocation was rendered by MS person Kavita Jayaram followed by Welcome Address by Mr. Punkaj Gupta.

WMSD Representative Mr. Shankar Subramanian spoke about MSSI & WMSD. Mr. Mariappan spoke about various aspects of the Disability Act & about the implementation of UDID card in Karnataka. He also assured of his possible assistance towards MSSI from the Government end.

A panel discussion was held followed by press interaction.

Awareness and Fundraising Program

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PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION HELD FROM 1ST TO 10TH MARCH 2019

A solo exhibition was held by Mr. Punkaj Gupta, Hon. Secretary to create Awareness cum Fund Raising

Along with Honeycomb Creative Support. The inauguration was held on March 1st 2019 at the Honeycomb Art Gallery which was inaugurated by Mr. Anand Sharan, Senior Photographer & Mentor, Felicitation by Noufel, Founder & MD of Honeycomb Creative Support (P) Ltd., & Vote of thanks was rendered by

Mr. K. A. Prasad, Senior Managing Committee Member of MSSI.

Mr. Punkaj was generous to contribute the sale proceeds of the photographs towards MSSI. It was a good awareness for the public for the entire exhibition of ten days wherein more than 700 people had visited the gallery.

Also during the exhibition Awesome, three events took place like:

  • Playback theatre show
  • Musings on the spot
  • Instant Painting of the photographs

Instant playback theatre was performed by Ranji David based on the experiences of the audience after seeing some of the photographs.

Musings on the spot by Navoneil Bhattacharya where he, along with the entire audience, wrote instant poetry on some of the photographs.

Instant painting by Mithila Ketkar along with the audience on their individual canvas of their interpretation of some of the photographs was held.

India MS Day 2019 – Bengaluru

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To Commemorate India MS Day MSSI Bengaluru Chapter conducted two days events. On February 2, 2019, an awareness bike rally was conducted from Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd. to NIMHANS in which around 80 Bikers consisting of Rotarians, Rotaractors of Presidency College, Volunteers, Committee Members of MSSI and MS Persons. Mr. Purushothama Reddy, Senior Vice President – Finance and Head- CSR of Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd. flagged off the Rally. The Rally covered about 9.5 kms stretch & reached NIMHANS. It was a good Awareness among the public throughout the stretch.

Sumptuous breakfast was ready at NIMHANS by the time the Bikers reached the venue. MS persons Y& the NIMHANS team received the Bikers. As per the plan, everybody assembled at the seminar hall of NIMHANS. Formal inauguration was done by Dr.Gangadhar, Director, Registrar & Doctors of NIMHANS.

Dr. Netravati, Assistant Professor, Neurology welcomed the group. Dr. Gangadhar gave a brief speech on MS & the association of NIMHANS with MSSI from a long time. Green Mementos were given to all the dignitaries present for the occasion.

Panel discussion was held under Dr. Sathish Chandra, Neurologist & past Director of NIMHANS along with a team of Doctors specialized in various fields. After the panel discussion Creative Movement Therapy was held which was enjoyed well by the whole audience present.

Mr. V.S. Basavaraju, State Commissioner for Disability, Govt. of Karnataka gave a speech on different governmental benefits and projects.

Appeal to Commissioner

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Mr. Punkaj, Hon.Secretary submitted the appeal letter to the commissioner describing the important points of getting support from the Government schemes available to MS persons such as support towards free MRI in government hospitals for MS persons, implementation of UDID card, reduce in cost of treatment, concession in hospitalization charges, and easy access to Indian generic drugs on public domain or healthcare platforms.

The Commissioner briefed on the possibilities of availing benefits from the Government like pension schemes, rights of the disabled person & UDID card.

MS Camp and Deepawali Celebration

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The program started with the breakfast after which welcome address was given by Mr. Shankar. Mr. Punkaj spoke on the ICTRIMS conference he attended which was held in Kochi.

Dr. Shashikanth rendered a speech on Integrated Medicines, Yoga & Ayurveda to the audience.

After that Mrs. Geetha Balaji & Mrs. Kala performed a skit which portrayed the difficulties of an MS person facing bladder issues & the problem faced while using a public toilet. This skit was rendered in a jovial manner where everyone enjoyed. Then Ms. Kavitha Jayaram & MS person Megha’s mother rendered songs as the part of Diwali celebrations. The audience joined in the song along with them. Homemade chocolates prepared by Megha was distributed to everyone present.

Shankar announced about the introduction of special services from MSSI like Doctor’s home visit to each MS person’s houses monthly once on a rotational basis. Requested everyone to inform Rani like whoever is interested to give the names so that necessary arrangements can be done accordingly. MS persons were very interested in this initiative & started giving the names.

Dr. Shashikanth handed over a wheelchair to MS person Leullin Leo & Lalitha handed over Adult Diapers to Archana’s father which were donated by MSSI. As a part of Diwali celebration, MSSI distributed sweets and Diyas to all MS persons.

Finally, individual consultations were held by Dr. Shashikant & Physiotherapy consultations by Mr. Sudeep & Mr. Safraz.

Awareness Program in Presidency College

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The awareness program started with the welcome address by Mr. Sangam, President Rotaract followed by a presentation on MS by Dr. Shashikanth, a yoga therapist. Presentation comprised of the description of MS, causes, symptoms, types and management of the same. The doctor also mentioned the activities done by MSSI, Bangalore Chapter. Then the student Rotaract coordinator gave an introduction about the guest speaker, Mrs. Geetha Balaji. Mrs. Balaji shared her personal experience about MS and captured all the audience’s mind and soul through her motivational speech. After that, the floor was open for question and answer session by students which were cleared by Dr. Shashikanth. Then the Rotaract coordinators felicitated the volunteers of MSSI and delivered the vote of thanks. The meeting winded up by a group photo, followed by refreshments.

 

Present:
Dr. Shashikanth -Yoga Therapist
Mrs. Rani – Administrator
Ms. Meera Mariyam – Medico Social Worker
Mrs.Geetha Balaji -Member
Mrs.Padmapriyachari -Member

DAY : Thursday, September 27th 2018
TIME : 3 pm – 4 pm
PLACE: Presidency College Seminar Hall.

World MS Day 2018 – Fundraising Program

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A Fund Raising program Jagachitra was held in continuation with the camp to commemorate WMSD. This event was held mainly to create Awareness among general public & also to raise funds for the welfare of MS persons in aid of MSSI, Bangalore Chapter from Thank God It’s Saturday

Thank God it’s Saturday!’ or TGiS in short, is an exclusive group of photographers, both experienced and amateur, who despite their varied professions get together every weekend to pursue their collective love for photography. TGIS has been raising funds since 2003 has committed the entire proceeds to noble causes which includes the Rotary and the MSSI.

The collection of photographs showcases a wide repertoire of motifs, ranging across culture & festivals, monuments, flora, fauna, dances and landscapes of the India and from across the world. What makes these exhibitions so special is the display of amateur works of high standard, right alongside those of experienced and senior photographers, contributing to a liberating spirit of inclusion.

Inauguration of the exhibition:

Grand inauguration of the photography exhibition was held on May 31st 2018 at Rangasthala Auditorium adjacent to the exhibition hall. Celebrity who inaugurated the event was a famous & Award winning actress Suman Nagarkar.

There were more than thousand people who visited the exhibition every day and brochures were handed over to them. Volunteers explained the cause and briefed visitors about MS. We had a good media coverage which helped us in creating more awareness about MS.

An article about Jagachitra was published in Your story, link provided below:

https://yourstory.com/2018/06/art-for-a-cause-how-this-photography-exhibition-is-raising-funds-for-the-multiple-sclerosis-society-of-india/

https://yourstory.com/2018/06/adversity-can-open-opportunity-punkaj-gupta-photographer-multiple-sclerosis-patient/

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO SANOFI GENZYME FOR THE SPONSORSHIP TOWARDS THE WMSD EVENTS HELD.

World MS Day 2018 – Bangalore – Camp

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MSSI Bengaluru Chapter celebrated World MS Day on 30th May 2018 at Vikram Hospital from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm. Coinciding with the theme #bringinguscloser we had a large number of participation from MS persons, their family members, Caregivers, Doctors, Pharma people, volunteers, Physiotherapists etc., More than 80 people were present including 35 MS persons.

Initially the camp started with sumptuous breakfast sponsored by Pharma Companies Reliance Life Sciences, Merck & Eisai Pharma. Welcome speech was given by Hon. Secretary Shankar Subramanian inviting everyone for the WMSD Celebration.

Doctors present :
Dr. Rajesh B. Iyer – Neurologist, Vikram Hospital
Dr. Jaychandran – Neurologist, Vikram Hospital
Dr. Swarna Gowri – Nutritionist
Dr. Shashikanth – Yoga therapist
Dr. Vijeendran – Physiotherapist

The camp started with Cake cutting of WMSD by MS persons Rajkumari & Geetha Balaji. Laughing therapy by Shankar was held followed by Question & Answer session with MSPs’ and care givers on how people were going about dealing with the treatment & their views. Dr. Rajesh Iyer also explained in detail about the disadvantages of the disease for people who are not on any therapy in order to avoid further deterioration of MS. This discussion was followed by Yoga therapy by Dr. Shashikanth for about 15 mins in which he taught some simple mudras to be followed daily.

An important event of the day was Donation of Wheelchair & Air bed to the needy MS persons by Vikram Hospital.  Two Wheelchairs were donated to Manohar & Narayan Rao & an Air Bed to MSP Archana. MSSI is indeed thankful & grateful to Vikram Hospital for their kind gesture for organising everything in celebrating WMSD in their premises.

A talk on Nutrition was rendered by Dr. Swarna Gowri for the MS persons to maintain a healthy diet. On this great event MS person Rajkumari, Dr. Rajesh B.Iyer, Dr. Shashikanth & Mr. Prasad was awarded the Champion Award given away by the CEO of Vikram Hospital Mr. Somesh Mittal. MSSI honoured all the Doctors & Pharma Representatives by giving them a Memento for their support in organising the event successfully.

All the MS persons were given gifts to commemorate WMSD. The program came to an end after the consultation of MS persons with the Doctors.