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Kolkata

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!

The Unseen 2019

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The modern seminar hall, on the 9th floor of IN-K, Park Circus was the venue for the WMSD Event. The topic for the event was “The Unseen 2019” in line with the global theme of this year’s World MS Day – “My invisible MS”.

Mr. Anirban Banerjee, Hon.  Joint Secretary of MSSI, Kolkata and Hon. Member of National GC, MSSI welcomed the audience present. Ms. Anuradha Goswami, the Hon. Secretary of MSSI, Kolkata, in her short speech was extremely precise in highlighting the challenges faced and fought by all MS friends and their caregivers.

Ms. Swapna Ghosh, Hon. Vice Chairperson, MSSI invited on stage, the Chief Guest for the evening – Dr. and Prof. Bibhukalyani Das, the Academic Director of IN-K, who was extremely kind to emphasize on the challenges of handling and managing MS and assured MSSI of all possible support and cooperation from IN-K in their fight to conquer MS. The star attraction for the evening was a popular singer and musician – Siddhartha Ray (Sidhu) enthralled the present gathering with some of his hit songs and then with the song he had written, composed and sung last year on WMSD – “Bhalo thakar Gaan”  which was also recently recorded along with chorus vocals by few of MSSI, Kolkata members. The formal audio launch of this song was done by Dr. and Prof. Bibhukalyani Das, the Academic Director of IN-K, with huge applause from one and all and the song is already available on various audio platforms.

The rest of the evening was followed by a series of talks and interactive discussion by the expert staff of IN-K:-

  • Visualisation of invisible MS by Dr. Ashis Datta, Consultant Neurologist, IN-K.
  • Functional Rehab for MS by Mr. Rakesh Mahapatra, Occupational Therapist, IN-K.
  • Invisible symptoms of MS by Dr. Anirban Ghoshal, Consultant Neurologist, IN-K
  • Physiotherapy in MS by Mr. Dawa Lepcha, Physiotherapist, IN-K.

The event was attended by more than a dozen members of the local press and media and some 70 odd MS Friends and their caregivers. Leading TV channels (ABP Ananda, Jiyo Bangla, Sadhna News), radio (AIR) & local dailies (Ei Somoy, Sangbad Pratidin) covered the event.

World MS Day 2017 – Kolkata

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Inaugural speech by Mr. Anirban Banerjee, Hony. Joint Secretary, Kolkata Chapter.

Welcome speech delivered by Mr. Anand Chopra, Hony Chairman, Kolkata Chapter.

Guest of honour speech delivered by Mr. Viresh Oberoi, National Chairman, MSSI.

Mr. Viresh Oberoi handed over cheque of Rs.15,000/- to our MS friend Rajni Roy towards partial financial support to purchase laptop.

We celebrated World MS Day with great enthusiasm.

On this day, our MS friends presented their talent, like Mitrajyoti  Kushari shown his talent with guitar and songs, Preeti Bery  with her synthesizer and Anirban Banerjee with his impromptu songs  and seamless anchoring of the entire event!

During the event, volunteers of MSSI, Kolkata distributed hundreds of bilingual brochures to all the audiences and the crowd present in Mani Square mall. The mall was anyway beautifully decorated with posters and banners of MSSI at several strategic locations.

Renowned national award winning singer Rupankar was invited to the stage. He came and sang some of his all popular  and hit songs through which the audience was amazed. His songs also created lot of attraction in common visitors in the mall. The most attractive part of this session was a song composed by Rupankar especially on the theme of MS and MSP – “Sanket aasche na, sanket chai pete” which drew great energy within the audience. Human chain also was created by the MSPs and volunteers during the song. Throughout his performance, he spoke at length on MS, MS friends and the noble work being performed by MSSI, Kolkata.

This time we received lot of media coverage through print, online and social media. ABP Ananda, Millenium Post, Dainik Statesman, Ei Samay, Sangbad Pratidin, All India Radio  to name a few.

Light refreshment was served to all.

Our special thanks to our venue partner Mani Square Mall, event partner Caring Minds (Patton initiative), Anmol Industries for their financial support to make the event successful. Also our thanks to The Dreamers for arranging media coverage.

The event was a great success and all the participants and audience enjoyed a lot.

The programme ended at 8.45P.M. with a vote of thanks by. Ms. Anuradha Goswami, Hony. Secretary

World MS Day 2017 – Kolkata

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RUPANKAR’S NEW SONG ” SANKET” FOR CREATING AWARENESS ABOUT MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

31 May,2017, Kolkata: It was the World Multiple Sclerosis Day observed by the World Multiple Sclerosis Society Of India, Kolkata Chapter at  Mani Square Mall, today. The event was graced by a gala performance by the eminent singer  Rupankar who scored a new song “ Sanket Aschhena,Sanket Chai Pete” for the affected people to get more awareness regarding the disease. He performed the song along with affected people. He said, “ I even was not aware of this disease. Whenever I came to know about it I thought I must support the cause through my music. As I got a request to compose a new song for creating awareness I wrote it, composed tune within two days.” Interestingly he fulfilled wish of songs requested by the affected people one after other as Belasheshe, Aaj Shraboner, Tabu Tumi JAdi Aste Chao, followed by Tagore songs like Khelaghar Bandhte Legechhi and so on.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a serious neurological disorder diagnosed mainly in young adults. MS is a disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord.

Multiple Sclerosis Society of India (MSSI) is a registered voluntary, non-profit organization.. MSSI works for the welfare of persons affected by Multiple Sclerosis.

The Society is a member of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) based in London, UK. MSSI works in co-operation with 48 other member countries of MSIF, thereby working in collaborating with similar organization all over the world. Multiple Sclerosis Society of India was established on July 26, 1985 and is a support group managed by the MSPs (MS Persons) for the MSPs.

The Kolkata Chapter of MSSI was established on 23 July, 1990with the initiative of Mr.Tobaccowala, the then chairman of Voltas Ltd, along with Mrs. Sheila Chitnis and Mrs. R.S. Fazalbhoy, an eminent social worker. The Chapter was registered on 16 September, 1992. Mr.RusiGimi was our first Chairman and Mrs.ZarinGimi, his wife was our chief patron. Our 20 years of existence is crowded with many events. Now we are dealing with 200 MS patients in Kolkata and adjacent areas who are registered with MSSI, Kolkata. But the actual numbers are assumed to be far more.

Anuradha Goswami, Hony Secretary, MSSI, Kolkata Chapter said, “ It was initiated to make people aware of the disease. As many people come and join hand in hand to spread the awareness it will be helpful for our society.”