May 26, 2017, saw the Express Avenue Mall, Chennai’s biggest shopping Mall, reverberate the sounds of drums, music, song, dance and drama for a good 3 hours. Footfalls of all ages were more than 3000, that evening as a theatre complex with 6 theatres overlooks, the Atrium of the Mall. The theme “Life with MS” and creating awareness was brought about by two dramas – one a Koothupatharai – village play in Tamil, and a second was a Meme in English by BNY Mellon employees, our CSR partners.
The entire evening reverberated with questions, what is MS? How do you get it? What is the cure etc? , as Volunteers distributed Orange Ribbon and leaflets on MS. Most visitors expressed the view that they had not heard the word/ disease – Multiple Sclerosis, before. It was a great evening of creating Awareness about MS, more so because it was well attended by MS persons in Orange T Shirts with their families.
Both the skit and Meme was to make people to understand MS and its symptoms. It definitely helped to educate people about MS, early diagnosis and how proper doctor consultation is important in MS. They enacted and conveyed the essence of the day in a simple way. There were interludes of cultural items by “Rhythm of Life” group. People were entertained with songs, dance and mimicries, etc.
31.05.2017 – Human Chain.
BNY Mellon, are our CSR partners with their employees, more than 800 of them , together with our members joined hands to form a human chain on evening of 31.05.2017, at DLF IT Park which houses about 20 IT companies. The slogan “We’re stronger than MS” and “Life with MS” rent in the air. We all stood together to show solidarity with the rest of the World to mark “MS Day”. The Human Chain grasped the attention of all the employees in the huge 65 acre campus. It was really an “Awareness Campaign about MS”.
Lighting up of Buildings in Orange.
On the evening of 31.05.2017 – Prominent buildings were lit in Orange like Corporation of Chennai (Ripon building) Apollo Speciality Hospitals, Ragas Rajan Dental, Acropolis building, Fagun Mansion, IIT Madras, TNPL building, Bergamo, Director General of Police, Chennai, Building housing Commission for the Differently Abled, to name a few.
Visit of Ms. Karen Dare – MS Ambassador – Melbourne, Australia spoke to us about “Living the Challenges with MS”. She is MS person herself living with MS – a single mother of three children. She keeps herself busy as children entertainer while coping with MS and working part time at the Melbourne office.
In Australia, MSP’s receive help from their government for their medications, etc. Apart from looking after her children, she also volunteered in an Orphanage in India way back in 2007.
Her motivational talk kept our MS person asking her question. She patiently answered them. She was very happy to be able to interact with our MS persons.
October the Month of the Carer: October for the last 19 years is dedicated to our Carers, it is their timeless effort taking care after their loved ones which the Chapter appreciated by awarding them gifts Gifts to the Carers be it parents, husband/wife, brother/sister/ daughter/son, friends were all awarded prizes.
The Birthdays of the month, were celebrated with a harmonious rending of Happy Birthday and cutting of the Birthday cake followed by a sumptuous tea.
Our Face to Face Programme on August 6, 2016. BOSCH lunch room. The speaker of the evening was Mrs. Vasanthi Ranganathan, Rotary Aluma 1983, Fulbright Scholar with Management degrees and Counselling degrees from the U.S. She spoke on “Heaven’s chosen Few” followed by shared experiences.
It was an interactive evening where MS persons and their carers were made to feel extra special, and left with happy hearts and on positive notes!!
More than 800 employees of Bank of New York Mellon, along with MS persons gathered in the campus , which houses 21 I.T. Companies at 5 pm on the evening of May 25, 2016, showing solidarity with MS, persons by forming a “Human Chain” and raising slogans like “We are Stronger than MS” . “ Multiple Sclerosis means “Multiple Disabilities”, etc. This was observed by hundreds of employees of other companies. World MS Day badges were worn by one and all. Leaflets on MS were distributed to the onlookers. It was highly visible demonstration in support of MS and created must needed awareness among the youth working in the campus
A leading hospital in Chennai “Fortis Malar Hospital” hosted a Medical Camp in their premises. MS persons were seen by the Dentist, the Gynecologist, the Urologist , the Ophthalmologist, the Neurologist, the Diabetologist, and other blood tests, etc were taken. The camp lasted for over 4 hours. The patients were able to get a thorough check up.
Chennai Live FM
On the morning of May 24, 2016, a prominent and Senior Neurologist Rd. M.R. Sivakumar, Mrs. Ann Gonsalvez, Chairperson, MSSI, Chennai and two MS persons, Mrs. Vasanthi Parameshwar and Mr. Sivakumar, gathered at Chennai Live Radio Station and a live question and answer session was conducted for 30 minutes. Audiences are large for this Radio Station and phone calls poured in after the talk.
Radio Rainbow – Government sponsored Radio Station .
A live talk was given in the local language Tamil over this Radio Station by Dr. R. Bhanu Neurologist & Dean of the Rajiv Gandhi Govt. Hospital , Chennai on MS
A “Talk Show” was held at a prominent Hotel in the city on May 24, 2016. Six MS persons – Mr. Gopi, a Research Scholar, Ms. Bharathikannamma , a young, B.E. Electronics Engineer, Prof. Sunder, a Professor of Mathematics, Ms. Smitha, a Social Activists, Ms. Pramila , Leadership Trainer & Executive Coach, and Mr. Shanmuganathan , a retired engineer, father and grandfather all spoke of each of them “Being Stronger than MS”. Each talk echoed the pathos the all went thru’ braving MS, and still climbing the ladder in their professional and personal lives. A top comedy actor “Mr. Karthik Kumar” hosted the show. They were about 100 guests , well wishers, donors, MS persons and carers. It was very well received by one and all and created the much needed “Awareness of MS”. The meeting was followed by sumptuous dinner.