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Connecting with Neurologist Dr. Sudhir Kumar and Performance by HaLoH | WMSD 2022

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Hyderabad Chapter celebrated the World MS Day 2022 on 27th May with an event at the City Center Mall, Hyderabad. Dr. Sudhir Kumar, Neurologist at Apollo Hospitals was the Chief Guest and spoke about how Prompt Diagnosis and Early Initiation of Treatment is the Key to Prevent Disability due to Multiple Sclerosis. He used simple yet interesting ways to explain which made it easy for everyone to understand.

We recognised three people with MS who have served the society in various ways, three caregivers who have been relentlessly taking care of their bed bound MS family members, and a class X student, daughter of a MS person who has performed exceptionally well academically. We also felicitated Arti Mittal, who has been living with MS since 1998 for receiving an award at the Womennovator Global Summit 2021 for creating awareness about MS on an international platform.

This was followed by some entertaining & foot tapping music by the members of the group the Harmonica Lovers of Hyderabad – HaLoH on the Harmonica. The celebrations ended by joining hands and making the human chain – TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER.

Meena Gupta felicitated by Rotary Club

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Meena Gupta,  Chairperson MSSI Hyderabad Chapter was recognised and felicitated by Rotary Club of Secunderabad West. She received the Rotary Vocational Excellence Award and a Citation on 19/12/2021 from the Dist. Governor Rtn. K. Prabhakar Dist. 3150, for serving the cause of Multiple Sclerosis and the selfless work towards alleviating the problems of Multiple Sclerosis Patients and the Caregivers.


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GUEST SPEAKER:-   Doctor Sunil  T Pandya (MBBS,MD,PDCC)

An Anaesthesiologist is a doctor who gives a patient medication so they do not feel pain when they are undergoing surgery. They are specialised in anaesthesia care, pain management and critical care medicine.


On 31st January 2021 MSSI HYDERAD CHAPTER has invited guest speaker of the month Doctor SUNIL T PANDYA (Anaesthetist) who spoke on MS AND ANAESTHESIA —— MYTHS AND FACTS.

With the help of slides, the doctor has beautifully and briefly discussed the types of anaesthesia and how safe is anaesthesia for MS patients. According to the doctor, Modern Practice of Anaesthesia is very safe for MS patients which include safer drugs, newer techniques, better training.

According to the doctor ANAESTHESIA given to reduce awareness and sensation during surgery, is safe for people with MS. The risk of relapse is not increased because of surgery or exposure to ANAESTHESIA. Generally, in the absence of complications, people with MS who undergo surgery do not find that it impacts their neurologic status. Infection or fever however may tend to aggravate symptoms of MS.

Risks Among Women with MS during Labor and Delivery:-

All forms (general, regional, local anaesthesia and conscious sedation) of anaesthesia are considered safe for women with MS; anaesthesia management does not need to be altered.

Few Myths and Facts revealed by the Doctor:-

Myth 1: If there is a dosage miscalculation, anaesthesia can wear off before surgery is over.

Fact:- There is no method to calculate the dose of anaesthesia. It can be increased as required. Hence it is not possible for the anaesthesia to wear off before surgery is over.

Myth 2:- The risk of anaesthesia is less if it is a minor surgery.

Truth:- Surgery is only one factor determining the outcome of anaesthesia. Other important factor is a patient’s co-morbidity.

Myth 3:- Spinal / Epidural anaesthesia causes back pain.

Truth: – Many studies have concluded that there is no evidence to support this.

Myth 4:- It’s not safe for women with MS to get pregnant.

Fact: – Studies show the disease has no effect on your chances of getting pregnant or having problems during pregnancy and there won’t be any impact on your baby’s health.

Myth: – If I have kids, they’ll get MS too.

Fact: – Genes play some role in MS, the condition doesn’t pass directly from parent to child.

Many more queries were answered by the doctor. The session with Dr. Sunil Pandya was very interactive and I conclude by saying that an anesthesiologist is a highly skilled professional and the most important member of the medical team for patient’s safety and care.

Immune boosting foods and diet for MS

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On 6th December 2020, MSSI HYDERABAD CHAPTER has invited guest speaker Ms. Kavita Kabra a professional nutrition therapist for a talk on IMMUNE BOOSTING FOODS AND DIET FOR MS.

Nutrition is a huge component of health and well being. Our bodies are amazing machines that need fuel – the correct type in the correct amounts to function, grow and heal.

A healthy and balanced diet combined with daily exercise is very helpful to improve Multiple Sclerosis condition.

A healthy diet helps to maintain regular bowel and bladder functions, improve the health of skin, bones, teeth and gums, strengthen the heart and improve muscle strength and flexibility.

A healthy diet also helps control weight gain and reduce the risk of heart diseases and Osteoporosis.

The following diet was suggested by the dietitian to be followed to build and improve immunity.

Whole grain products like whole wheat, jowar, Oats, unrefined Rice, Beans, Lentils, Soy and nuts; seeds, fruits and vegetables, fish high in Omega – 3 fatty acids, Skinless chicken or lean meat.

Foods to avoid:

Foods high in saturated fat, like red meat, Vanaspati Dalda, simple Carbohydrates like excess sugars, refined flour, white rice, soft drinks.

The dietician was highly appreciated for sharing the tips and answering the queries raised by MSPs. It was indeed a very interactive session.

My MS Story – Hema Gulati-Chandra

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I thank MSSI for giving me a platform to share my story: 

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2011 after a long battle with difficult symptoms of optic neuritis, pain, falls and fatigue. I was in India at the time with my husband and there was little to no active knowledge of MS. The doctors also seemed somewhat afraid to tell my family and me what the news was. The diagnosis was finally made after returning to the UK, and it was perhaps one of the most devastating events of my life.

From being the active and independent professional, mother and wife that I was, I spiralled into a deep depression where I thought this was the end for me. I thought I was being punished for something I might have done in my past life. I felt unwell, weak and a burden on my family despite their efforts to support me as much as possible.

A year after my diagnosis, the one thing that had not changed was my love for music. My family reminded me of how I inspire them. They also reminded me of the lessons I have taught them to overcome hardship with determination. So I worked hard to seek the right kind of help both medically and mentally to bring me back to life.

Today, I continue to travel across the world and run one of the most successful music academies for western music in India. I continue to perform on stage too– singing and playing my guitar and the piano.

While in Hyderabad in 2015, I met Meena Gupta (Charter Chairperson, MSSI) and joined MSSI. This has benefitted me greatly because of the up-to-date information and support I receive and also I have been able to connect with other people living with MS.

In 2018, Meena and Mamta Gupta (Chairperson, MSSI) requested that I perform for World MS day in the city of Hyderabad, India on behalf of MSSI. The event gathered and inspired a large public audience. It also raised awareness of MS to the Indian public. I am an active advocate for MS in India, determined to spread awareness of the disease and the help available.

In 2019, I and my newly formed all-female trio, The 969, performed on World Music Day where we spread the word about MS again particularly in women, and inspiring them to keep on living!

I am grateful to be able to spread the joy of music to everyone; the young and old, sick or healthy. Recently, during the Covid19 lockdown, my daughter and I composed and recorded a song based on my experiences; “TOGETHER”. This song is dedicated to people living with chronic illnesses, particularly MS.

Although no two days are the same with my MS, with some days being harder than others, I will not stop being the active and independent professional, mother and wife that I was, am, and always will be.

YouTube link to the song “Together”; recorded at home during Covid19, stay at home policy.


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MSSI HYDERABAD CHAPTER and APOLLO HOSPITALS has conducted a symposium on Multiple Sclerosis – Fighting the Invisible

A very interactive session was held with a panel of Expert Doctors, MS persons, Caregivers, Sponsors, Committee members and Well Wishers on 1st March 2020 (Sunday) between 10.30 am to 1 pm at Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills.

A panel of Doctors who addressed the large gathering were:-

  1. Sudhir Kumar Consultant Neurologist, Apollo Hospitals
  2. RamMohan Vadapalli  Consultant Radiologist, Vijaya Diagnostic Centre
  3. Sanjay Sinha Consultant Urologist, Apollo Hospitals
  4. Anirudh Chirania Psychiatrist APOKOS, Apollo Hospitals
  5. Namita Singh, Neuro Psychologist, Apollo Hospital

The session was extremely interesting and informative. Each query was perfectly answered by the doctors and all the doubts of MSPs were clarified. Few new MS persons were registered.

The event was supported by APOLLO HOSPITALS and NATCO PHARMA followed by delicious Lunch.


Deepthi Neelagiri

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Deepthi Neelagiri, an MS Fighter from Hyderabad, participated in the prestigious all-women art exhibition called ‘Art Invasion’ that is aimed at promoting emerging artists in the field of art.

Deepthi, a few years after the diagnosis of MS completed a certificate course in oil painting from JNAFAU and also learnt the techniques in art from Mr.Sayyad Shaiek. She later did a TTC course from Pidilite. Music being her other area of interest, she also completed a four year certificate course in Carnatic music.

“The motivation to see myself as a singer, an artist started during that time when I wanted to add colour to my dull life” Deepthi says. She strongly feels that art and music had helped her cope with her health challenges and also primarily in keeping her mind happy.

Few fellow MSPs from Hyderabad chapter visited the art exhibition to encourage Deepthi for her marvellous work and celebrate the spirit of being ‘Unstoppable”. Also as part of creating MS awareness, MS brochures have been given and ‘Forms of the Formless’ book has been gifted to Mr. Sayyad Shaiek, Contradiction Art Curator.

World Rare Diseases Day – 2020

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The Indian Organization for Rare Diseases (I-ORD) was conceived in 2005 and is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in India and USA. It is the umbrella organization and represents interests of all rare diseases, individual patients, patient support groups, health policy advocates and health care providers for rare diseases. Its primary mission is to create Awareness – Education & Research, Public Policy & Drug Development.

I-ORD conducted ‘World Rare Diseases Day – 2020’ in Hyderabad on February 28th. The health minister of Telangana, Mr. Eatela Rajender was the honourable chief guest for the event. The intent of the conference is to bring diverse issues into focus and improve the quality of life of all the Rare Disease patients. The campaign targets primarily the general public and seeks to raise awareness amongst policymakers, public authorities, industry representatives, researchers, health professionals and anyone who has a genuine interest in rare diseases.

MSSI Hyderabad chapter received an invitation to participate in the ‘World Rare Disease Day’ event. The Chapter Chairperson Mrs. Meena Gupta and two MSPs attended the conference.  Mrs. Meena Gupta in her speech explained briefly about Multiple Sclerosis, its symptoms, how it is caused and diagnosed, and the available treatment options to manage MS.

Mrs Gupta then introduced about MSSI, and how MSSI through its multiple chapters has been working for the welfare of MSPs to address their needs. She briefly spoke about the Hyderabad chapter’s support activities and services offered for MSPs to help manage their MS for a better quality of life.

Medical professionals, patient advocacy groups, patient organizations from all over India have participated in the event and shared their views.

The event provided an opportunity to create good awareness about Multiple Sclerosis to a variety of audience present. Interestingly television media persons came forward to know more about MS and MSSI, and expressed their interest to extend support in their capacity.


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MSSI Hyderabad chapter observed INDIA MS DAY by organising the MS WALK on Sunday 2nd February 2020. The Walk was held at Parade Ground, Secunderabad from 7 am onwards. There was a huge gathering of MS persons, caregivers and supporters.

The Chief Guest Mr. Muralidharan, Chairman TMI Group and First Generation Serial Entrepreneur was welcomed by Chairperson MSSI Hyderabad Chapter Mrs. Meena Gupta followed by presenting the memento to Chief Guest by Mrs. Mamta Gupta.

Chief Guest had addressed the gathering and shared his views on the awareness of Multiple Sclerosis and also appreciated the hard work and efforts put forward by Hyderabad Chapter. He also appreciated the IMSD theme – “KNOW MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS”

The program started by a song sung by Youth MS persons led by Hema Gulati our MS person. Full attendance prizes were awarded to 3 MS persons. The walk was flagged off by the Chief Guest Mr. Muralidharan who walked along with us. Everyone walked enthusiastically holding banners, placards, flags and came back to be served with hot breakfast. The red T-shirts worn by the participants attracted many people who enquired about MS and MSSI and pamphlets were distributed.