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Image depicting MS awareness and support initiatives in India, including events, resources, and community outreach efforts.

Annual Excursion

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Exciting India MS Day at Mahabalipuram’s Beach Resort! 100 MSPs, Caretakers & Volunteers joined our unforgettable ‘Excursion’ on Feb 4, 2024. Mrs. Ann Gonsalvez (Hon. Secretary) welcomed all, and BNY Mellon volunteers added fun with Talent shows, Truth or Dare, and Balloon Tapping for all ages! Afternoon delights included beach time, Bingo, and a surprise visit by Mr. Pugazh (Film Actor & Comedian). We also celebrated the birthdays of seven MSPs in February, making it a truly memorable experience. As the sun set, high tea, group photos, and heartfelt farewells marked the end of a perfect day.

Annual Picnic

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Embracing Tranquility: Allow the waves of serenity to wash over as the Chennai Chapter extends a warm invitation to all MSPs and caregivers for a joyous celebration of IMSD at Joe’s Beach Resort on February 4, 2024, Sunday. The plan is to mark this grand occasion by savoring a delectable grand buffet lunch, indulging in delightful snacks, participating in fun games and activities, and taking a refreshing dip in the beach waters.

Photo of a person living with multiple sclerosis (MS), engaging in daily activities or receiving medical care.

Celebrating a Trailblazer: Smitha Sadasivan

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MSSI is overjoyed to announce that our incredible member, Smitha Sadasivan, has been honored with the prestigious national award for being a role model for persons with disabilities (Shreshth Divyangjan)! This outstanding recognition was presented by the Honorable President of India on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023.

Hailing from Chennai, Ms. Smitha Sadasivan is a beacon of inspiration as a person with Multiple Sclerosis and an active member of the MSSI Chennai chapter. Her dedication extends beyond her own journey, as she tirelessly contributes to various voluntary disability and health networks.

Smitha is a force for change, advocating, sensitizing, and collaborating for inclusive and accessible policies, programs, products, services, infrastructure, and ICT. Her remarkable contributions include championing the inclusion of Multiple Sclerosis in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2023 and spearheading efforts to make electoral processes accessible for all persons with disabilities nationwide.

Notably, Smitha played a pivotal role in transforming Marina into the 2nd longest beach in the world into an accessible haven for all in Chennai. Her impact reverberates globally, as she has represented and deliberated on the inclusion of all persons with disabilities in global health discussions, even speaking at the UN and WHS on these crucial matters.

Smitha, your unwavering commitment to human rights, inclusivity, and accessibility is truly commendable. Your journey is an inspiration to us all, and we are immensely proud to have you as a part of the MSSI family!

Illustration representing advocacy efforts for individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS), including awareness campaigns, policy initiatives, and community support.

Diwali festivities at BOSCH

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he MSSI Chennai Chapter orchestrated a radiant Diwali celebration at the BOSCH office on November 18, 2023. Commencing with a Fatigue Management follow-up session for 15 MSPs, the day brightened with a captivating performance by Ms. Jyoti Kala, whose voice dispels negativity and illuminates the darkness. The festivities gained momentum with entertaining games hosted by the Committee members! Mr. Pravin Kumar from Dextroware shed light on Mouseware, an innovative tool enabling hands-free computer operation for PWDs. Wrapping up on a sweet note, the celebration concluded with the distribution of sweets and refreshments to all participants. Gratitude extends to everyone who contributed to making this Diwali celebration a resounding success!

Empowering Inclusivity

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Empowering Inclusivity: U.S. Consulate & Museum of Possibilities Unite for Climate Change and Disabilities Discussion

In a groundbreaking collaboration, the U.S. Consulate General Chennai partnered with the Museum of Possibilities for a pivotal discussion on “Climate Change Impacts on People with Disabilities” on 29.09.2023. The event featured the esteemed Mr. Jason Strother, a disability rights activist, entrepreneur, Fulbright alumnus, and multimedia journalist, sharing profound insights at the Museum of Possibilities in Chennai. Joined by Ms. Hindumathy from MSSI Chennai Chapter, a medical social worker, and representatives from over 30 organizations, the discussion emphasized the urgent need to address the disproportionate effects of climate change on individuals with disabilities.

The dialogue explored the vulnerabilities of people with disabilities during severe weather emergencies, where the loss of assistive devices and disconnection from support networks are heightened challenges. The session fostered interactive conversations, bringing forth the personal experiences and opinions of individuals with disabilities, underlining the necessity for inclusive solutions.

A significant focus emerged on implementing accessible devices during disasters, aiming to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the essential support and resources during critical times. Let’s continue these vital conversations and collectively work towards a more inclusive and resilient future!

Face to Face Meeting

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The Face to Face Meeting was hosted by the MSSI Chennai Chapter on August 5th, 2023, at the YWCA in Chennai.

Dr. Ravi Samuel guided the attendees through the topic of Lifestyle & Health, sharing insights.

Approximately 50 MS members and their caregivers gathered for a day centered on building connections and fostering bonds. Conversations flowed naturally, and new bonds were made.

In a heartwarming gesture, the group also celebrated the birthdays of members, filling the room with joy.

The gathering concluded with a high tea, allowing everyone to savor moments of camaraderie and reflection.

Illustration representing advocacy efforts for individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS), including awareness campaigns, policy initiatives, and community support.

Impact of Lifestyle Factors on MS

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MSSI Chennai Chapter organized a “Face to Face Meeting” on July 1st, 2023, and it was an incredible success! The event focused on exploring the “Impact of Lifestyle Factors on MS”, presented by esteemed Nutritionist Ms. Hasna Arshia M.Sc., M.Phil., CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator), NET, SRF, (Ph.D.) Clinical nutrition, Award-winning Dietitian, Autoimmune diseases expert, specialized in endocrine diseases and infertility management, and Gut health nutritionist. What makes Ms. Hasna Arshia’s perspective, even more insightful, is that she herself is an MS Person.

It was thrilling to witness an enthusiastic participation of around 60 MS members and Caregivers, who actively engaged in the session. The meeting featured a dynamic and interactive discussion between Dr. Venkatraman, a Neurologist and specialist in MS, and Ms. Hasna Arshia, where they explored the advantages and disadvantages of adopting a healthy diet versus relying solely on medication.
As a delightful conclusion to the gathering, the birthdays of members were celebrated.

World MS Day 2023 – Chennai

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As night fell on 30 May which marks World MS Day, iconic landmarks across the globe came alive and bathed the city skies in an orange hue!
Chennai Chapter’s Campaign to turn Chennai and other Districts into the new ORANGE CITY by illuminating skylines in the signature colours of the WORLD MS movement was a success.
Important buildings in Tamil Nadu lit up in orange, showing their support for WMSD-2023

Eye Camp

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MSSI Chennai Chapter organised an Eye Camp on 29 April 2023. The camp was conducted by ‘Vision Spring’. A total of 60 members and caregivers participated in the event. Mrs Ann Gonsalvez, Secretary of the Chennai Chapter gave a brief introduction. Mr Sandeep Chitnis, National secretary and Mr Javed Hasan, Project Manager, MSSI also attended the camp. 60 members had their eyes checked and 40 members got their glasses on the spot. As part of the Eye Camp assessment, members played outdoor games to relax.

Illustration representing multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological condition affecting the central nervous system.

Occupational Therapy Meeting

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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’.