AADHAR ANNUAL REPORT YEAR: April 2014 - March 2015
Aadhar is a registered charitable trust set up in 1998 in an effort to help the poor and underprivileged cancer patients get adequate medical care and treatment.
There are four main activities of the trust.
1. Child Cancer Fund
2. Fund for young women with cancer.
3. Counselling Centre for cancer patients and care-givers.
Cancer is a disease that takes a huge financial and emotional toll on the patient and the family. Due to the substantial costs of the medication to treat the disease, poor patients are often unable to finish their treatment, even when treated in government hospitals as medicines may sometimes have to be purchased from other sources. At times this may mean that the family needs to sell their meagre possessions in order to continue the treatment which further worsens their financial conditions. If the patient cannot get the required funds to purchase the medicine, the patient eventually dies due to the lack of treatment. This loss is further compounded if the life lost is that of a child. Aadhar attempts to identify and assist such poor families, especially if the patient is a child. With increasing improvements in the management of childhood cancers, a complete and comprehensive treatment has a high chance of being successful, allowing the child to grow up to lead a healthy life.
Aadhar often receives requests for support from adult cancer patients as well. However, due to limited funds, this support cannot be provided. This has inspired the creation of a Fund for Young Women with Cancer, which aims to provide support to young women with cancer between the ages of 21-40. Young women are the spine of a typical Indian family, and the women in this age group have the huge responsibility of raising their children and maintaining the family. Being diagnosed with cancer has crushing repercussions, not only for the patient, but also for the family. Unfortunately, societal set up in rural India often neglects the treatment needs of young women, and they often drop out of treatment as the family refuses to pay for the costs of the complete treatment. This fund has been set up to help young women cancer patients to complete their treatment and lead productive lives.
Summary of our activities from April 2014 to March 2015.
The Child Cancer Fund:
1. Number of new patients registered: 39
2. Total of 245 chemotherapy cycles administered for old and new patients.
3. Amount spent on treatment cycles was Rs. 17, 54,338/-.
This year for the first time we are supporting a child who is being treated outside Delhi, at Yashoda Hospital Hyderabad, in her treatment by radiotherapy. From the inception up to March 2015 we have raised more than 1 Crore and 26 lakhs in our effort to help children with cancer.
Children on support came from the following hospitals:
- Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narain Hospital
- Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital
- Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
- Shroff Charitable Eye Hospital
- Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre
- Dharamshila Cancer Hospital
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences
- Yashoda Hospital Hyderabad
Blood and blood products are a repeated requirement especially in the treatment of leukaemias. Parents find it very difficult to get a donor each time. To help them in time of crisis we are putting together a list of volunteers who would be ready to donate blood for a patient. Volunteers of Youth against Cancer especially are keen to help these children.
Fund for young women with cancer:
The Fund for Young Women with Cancer was established in October, 2012. Till date, twelve women have been helped through this fund. The amount spent on the treatment of young women with cancer by radiation and chemotherapy is approximately Rs 1, 70,000/-.
In the coming year, we hope to increase the number of patients that we can help through this fund. Currently, only selected few practitioners have been informed about the fund's availability. An efficient method of management for patients to request assistance needs to be set up, to better handle patient enrolment and fund dispersal. Once the availability is made known, doctors send patients of all ages for help and it becomes difficult to refuse. The other factor for limited participation was increase in the burden on the child cancer fund due to increase in the number of patients undergoing the treatment. The kind support and donations from our well wishers helped a lot.
Counselling Centre for cancer patients and care- givers:
The counselling centre has been started in October, 2012. The aims of the centre are to:
• Decrease patient’s sense of alienation by introducing them to others in similar situations, especially survivors who survived the disease, and are doing well.
• Reduce anxiety about the treatments,
• Assist in clarifying misconceptions and misinformation and
• Lessen the patients’ feelings of isolation, helplessness and neglect by others.
As a Counselling centre, we aim to provide patients and their care givers with a more comprehensive support system, enabling the patients and their families to be better prepared to deal with the cancer and its fall out in every way possible. A very holistic approach is being planned where we are involving homeopathic and ayurveda specialists also in our approach.
. In addition to the above points, the Centre also
• Informs and educates patients and relatives about the disease, its treatment and other relevant information such as common side effects etc.
• Answers queries patients may have about the disease and about positive health practices such as diet, exercise, etc.
• Teaches stress management through relaxation techniques, meditation and yoga.
• Provides advice on nutrition from a dietician about what to eat, what to avoid, how to prepare healthy and wholesome recipes.
• Assists with general information such as how to get wigs and other prosthesis, details of genuine dealers who supply, on sale or hire, wheel chairs, crutches, walkers and other things required for these patients etc.
The Counselling centre is being run with the help of highly trained professionals such as Dr. Aradhana Sharma, a highly qualified psychologist, who also works in various schools as an advisor. Dr Sanjiv Kumar has agreed to be our advisor on ayurveda.
As part of our pro-active outreach program, our plan is to organize awareness drives in various schools. This will be a part of our campaign to spread awareness about cancer, especially regarding substance abuse (such as smoking) and environmental factors causing increased incidence of cancer. Another purpose is to create sensitivity about problems of patients suffering from cancer
Distribution of free literature:
The following booklets and pamphlets were printed for free distribution to increase awareness about cancer and treatment options available:–
- Cancers found in Indian Children.
- Booklet on Cancers of the respiratory and gastro-intestinal tract.
- Cancer –Ek Ghar Ki Kahani which is a drama script on the three commonest gynaecological cancers.
- Booklet on cancers caused by HIV virus by Dr Manoj Sharma. This specially addresses young potential parents who may be responsible for the birth of HIV positive children who are at higher risk for certain cancers. Besides this, children with HIV positive parents may be orphaned at an early age and face many problems.
- Cancer Chikitsa- Isse Saharsh Kaise Poora Karein.
- Hindustani Auraton Mein Cancer-Cancer Ki KAhani, Jo Auraton Ne Na Jaani.
Cancer Chikitsa, Gahan Chikitsa
Contributions: Contributions were received by way of:-
- Direct remittance to the account.
Note: Aadhar has received FCRA approval for accepting donations from abroad and all donations made to Aadhar are eligible for benefits u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
We wish to acknowledge the support we received from the art exhibition called Hues of Expression organized by Mrs Alka Bhrushandi, Mr Vinay Joshi and Mr Sanjay. They have donated 20% of their proceeds to Aadhar. We also received a sponsorship from Bharat Petroleum of Rs 50,000/-.
We accept with thanks monthly donation of Rs 20,000/- from Disha Womens Association and a donation of Rs 1,80000/- from Km LA Meera Memorial Trust to be used for treatment of children with cancer in the coming year.
We at Aadhar, are committed to providing child and young women cancer patients with the means of completing their treatment and provide the emotional support the family needs to battle this disease. Thank you for all your help and support during the past year. Your continued support inspires us to improve our efforts each year and to expand the access to the fund to as many patients as possible.
"I am only one, but still I am one,
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
- Edward Everett Hale