On Saturday, 25 March 2023, the Chennai Chapter conducted a session on Occupational Therapy in association with the Occupational Therapists from Ramachandra Medical College and Hospital, Porur, Chennai. The session was conducted as a part of the monthly ‘Face to Face Meeting’.
The Pune Chapter organised a ‘Thanksgiving event for Caregivers’ on 25 March 2023 at the Ritz Hotel, Sadhu Vaswani Chowk, Pune. 95 people attended the event including, 40 volunteers, PwMS, 44 caregivers and staff & committee members. The event was abuzz with activities like singing, dancing, games, comedy and storytelling by volunteers and members alike. A brief talk on the importance of volunteering encouraged BNY employees to motivate more people from their organisation.
Volunteers presented a rose and a small box of chocolates to caregivers. As a token of appreciation, the caregivers presented some brochures on MSSI and MS with Thank You cards to the volunteers.
On 20 March 2023, about 60 members belonging to various disabled groups, including MSSI Chennai Chapter, came together to protest at the Rajaratnam Stadium, Egmore Chennai. It was to highlight the fact, that Chennai public transport is not disabled friendly. The buses pose a lot of inconvenience to disabled travellers.
Hyderabad Chapter organised its Annual Health Checkup for PwMS and their caregivers on 19 March 2023 at Lucid Medical Diagnostics. 33 persons availed of the health check; 22 PwMS and 11 caregivers. The health checkup was inclusive of Blood tests, Lipid Profile, Liver Profile, Kidney Profile, Thyroid Profile, Iron Profile, Hb1ac, VITAMIN B12, VITAMIN D, X-Ray Chest, ECG and Ultrasound of the abdomen. The whole process was seamless and well-organised
ORDI (Organization for Rare Diseases in India) Race for 7 was held on 19 March 2023, at Island Ground, Chennai. The race was flagged off by Mr Meghanathan Reddy IAS, Secretary, Sports Development Authority, Government of Tamil Nadu, & Mrs Ann Gonsalvez, Ms Smitha Sadasivam from MSSI Chennai, Chapter.
MSSI Mumbai Chapter organized a Get-Together & Interaction Program for all PwMS families on 16 March 2023 at the Mumbai office.
To lighten the mood, our young-at-heart & dynamic Mrs Vandana Sawant initiated the program with her laughter exercises for all present. Everybody present showed a keen interest and did exercises with her.
PwMS Sudha Kulkarni also demonstrated a few exercises which can be performed even while doing daily chores. We were also fortunate to have Ritika Sahni, Founder-Trustee of Trinayani, an NGO which works for the cause of all disabilities. She enthralled the audience with her captivating voice, ‘Kaisi paheli hai ye zindagi’ song won the hearts of all and made them sing in chorus with her. The most awaited talk was of Dr Sarosh Katrak, Emeritus Director, Dept. of Neurology, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre. He explained MS and the course of the disease in simple terms. It was followed by one-to-one interaction with MS families. We also had a Caregiver Session with Hon. Committee Member, Mrs. Anita Vesuvala. She gave tips on the daily management of MS to our newly registered MS Persons, especially how to cope with depression, stress, emotional outbursts etc.
Mrs Sheela Chitnis spoke about the ‘Mera Sapna’ Project, under which we fulfil the small wishes of PwMS. A total of 63 people participated in the event.
The Pune Chapter held a Diaper Distribution event on 11 March 2023 at their office. The chapter utilized BNY Mellon funds earmarked for adult diapers. The event began with a brief introduction about MSSI and its activities. Mohna Paranjpe, PwMS spoke about her journey with MS. Post the speeches, wrapped packets of diapers were handed over by BNY volunteers to the members of MSSI. The diapers were presented to MSSI and not directly to PwMS to avoid discomfort.
An icebreaker session was also conducted where members and volunteers planted saplings in earthen pots. The chapter will nurture these plants. The very enthusiastic volunteers also got involved in wrapping around 50 prizes and gifts for our next event. They took it upon themselves as a part of the volunteering efforts. It was a great event and a wonderful way to introduce new employees from BNY Mellon to volunteering.