Project #9318

Medicines to 200 terminal cancer patients in India

by Bangalore Hospice Trust - Karunashraya
Our Home Care Team at a Patients House
Our Home Care Team at a Patients House

In the months November 2013 to January 2014 we have admitted 321 patients and ensured an almost painfree and comfortable last few days for them, totally free of financial worry.  To enable us to acheive this the donations made by you, donors, towards this project has been a major contributor.  We require only around USD1,750 more to complete this project which I am sure will be received shortly. Thank you, thank you very much for reaching out to us.

This is the story of Rajam, a flower seller aged 48 years who was suffering from breast cancer.  She was married off when she was 13 years old and had 4 children.  Of these, only the youngest daughter was unmarried. Her husband had expired two years ago after a heart attack. Her main concern was her daughter's marriage. When  she was diagnosed with cancer, her daughter was not ready to get married as she wanted to take care of her mother. The cancer was in the fourth stage  and as the pain became severe, Rajam was admitted to Karunashraya.  With regular medication and dressings  of the open wounds, Rajam got the much wanted relief.  But then she was stressed out thinking of her daughter's marriage.  The  counselor then counselled the daughter, impressing on her the importance of listening to her mother and doing as per her wishes as this would remove the stress factor in her mother's mind.  The daughter agreed and soon her mother regained some strength and they took her home. The engagement took place but it was broken off when the boy came to know of her mother's condition.  He was upset that they had not told him before the engagement. and  was worried that the daughter may also get cancer, believing that cancer is hereditary. When the engagement was cancelld Rajam's condition worsened and with the increase in pain she was back at Karunashraya. When the counselors learnt about what had happened, they called up the boy and educated him about cancer. They then counselled the girl and convinced her to go to work.Rajam's daughter and the boy were in touch again and he agreed to marry her.  Once Rajam heard about this she was relieved.  She expired the next day and now her daughter will be getting married only after a year as is the custom prevailing here.    


World Hospice Day is celebrated the world over on the second saturday of October.  It was celebrated by us by hosting four one act plays at a prominent auditorium here. It was a successful day for creating awareness and also for fundraising.

On the 21st of December we held our Annual Day.  The invitees were the patients, their attenders, our Volunteers and our staff. A little entertainment was arranged for the attendees and this was provided by our nursing staff. The songs and dances were well practised and executed. Getting our nurses to do this kind of activity is a change from their routine work and acts as a stress buster for them.  The nursing staff all stay on the premises in the hostel rooms.  All day they are working with the sick and dying patients and when they go back to their hostels there is no change of scene as the girls are discussing what the patient said, what the attender wanted etc etc. Doing something out of their regular routine helps them to relax.

Karunashraya Entrance
Karunashraya Entrance
Doctor with Patient
Doctor with Patient
Patient with newly wedded couple (son & wife)
Patient with newly wedded couple (son & wife)

It is almost the end of October and in the nine months of this year we have looked after 839 patients and brought solace to their families. Almost 70% of these patients were daily wage earners and once the cancer was in an advanced stage they could not go to work and hence could not earn for themselves. Medicines and dressings were beyond their reach. On being admitted to Karunashraya it brought them immeasurable relief not to have to worry about medicines and dressings for any open wounds.

The donations received from this project from its inception stands today at US$ 14832/-. This money has gone a long way in relieving the patients of pain and anxiety. As a part of the Palliative Care that we extend to our patients we have three counsellors who counsel not only the patients but also their family members. This counselling goes a long way in solving problems that stress out the patient. We had seen cases where a son is estranged from the family but now the mother or father wants to see him. A daughter who was taken away from home when small by an uncle, sold or made to work and not allowed to contact her folks. Now because of cancer she is discarded but does not want to go home to trouble her old parents. Our counsellors have been able to bring these people together. Our case study in this report is about Nagendra who was suffering from throat cancer. He was worried about his son's wedding which was to take place a month later. If he died before that, the wedding would be postponed by a year as per custom and both families would lose a lot of money. The counsellor spoke to all the people concerned and got them to prepone the wedding. Nagendra could not attend the wedding but the married couple came to Karunashraya immediately after the function to seek the father's blessings. Nagendra passed away peacefully the following week.  When there is no stress factor in the mind of the patient, when the end comes it is quite peaceful without any agitation.

The ever increasing cost of medicines and dressing materials makes it very difficult for cancer patients to manage on their own.  It is a very big relief for them when they are admitted here and do not have to pay for these things..  Your donations help us to care for more such patients.  Our sincere thanks to each and everyone of you donors, for your continued support.

A View of Karunashraya
A View of Karunashraya
Diversional Therapy for patients
Diversional Therapy for patients

With your help, In the last three months we were able to extend Palliative Care to 267 cancer patients .  The trauma they went through since the diagnosis of the disease and treatment thereafter and then once again when they were told that the cancer was in the fourth stage - there were no counsellors to help them to deal with all this.. After coming to Karunashraya what awaited them was a clean bed and their choice of food, counsellors who   would listen to them and doctors and  nurses who took care of their physical pain.  All of this without any financial worry.

Ramappa (name changed) was one such patient.  He was around 70 years of age and made to lie on a cot outside his one room house as he had a bad wound that had not been dressed for weeks and it smelled badly. On arriving      at Karunashraya he was given a warm bath and clean clothes and the wound was dressed.  It gave him so much comfort that he refused to eat food and just wanted to lie down.  He asked for a cup of milk and told the staff he was so very thankful for the way he was looked after. He told those  around him that he was lucky to have this clean bed at least in his last days even though he could not afford it in his lifetime.  He just wanted to sleep comfortably for sometime.  Ramappa never woke up but died in sleep -  peacefully and with dignity. If only he had come to us a few days earlier - that was the thought in the minds of the ward staff.

Our bed occupancy is going up steadily and very often the patient strength is nearing 50.  We have only 50 beds and hence it has been decided to build two more wards to give us an additional 24 beds.  The drawings are getting ready and we will keep you all informed on the progress made in this direction.

Our heartfelt thanks for your help  which has enabled us to run this organisation bringing soccour to so many patients.

























Sr Vimal Doing a Dressing
Sr Vimal Doing a Dressing
Patient with sister
Patient with sister

In the last three months we have admitted 251 patients to our inpatient facility.  Through our Home Care Services we have extended care to another 37 new patients.  All these are just figures, but when one talks to some of the patients or the attenders of some patients, one gets to know the extent of relief they have got after admitting the patient here.

Ranganna was a 55 year old victim of lung cancer.  He was brought in to Karunashraya in a coma stage lying on the stretcher in a foetal position.  He was given good care and medication and the counsellor would say a few words to him though he would not respond.  After about 15 days he opened his eyes and after another fortnight started to talk a little.  The physiotherapist started attending on him and his condition began to improve day by day.  His question to her everytime was whether he would ever walk again.  With the care meted out to him,  along with physiotherapy and  medication, his improvement was fast and he was walking with a walker.  In another 10 days he walked without help.  He wanted to go back to his house to be with his family and he was discharged from Karunashraya.  He went out of here walking on his own feet and he was thankful for this achievement.  He knew he was free to come back here anytime he felt the need for our services.   Ranganna did get readmitted three weeks later and he passed away here  peacefully and with dignity.

Like Ranganna, many others have benefited from coming to Karunashraya having not only their physical pain attended to but also their spiritual, psychological and emotional needs. Ours is a holistic approach towards patients needs.

We have till date, raised a sum of US$11,922 through the GlobalGiving platform.  Our target is US$20,000 to provide care for one whole year. Our progress has been slow yet steady and we thank each and everyone of you who has made this journey possible.

Counsellor with patient
Counsellor with patient
A patient with her thoughts
A patient with her thoughts

Dear Friends of Karunashrya,

 In the last three months we have taken care of 251 patients at Karunashraya excluding those who were given care at their own homes under our Home Care Services.  All of this has been possible only with the continuous flow of donations from donors like yourselves.  Some of our patients were so poor that they did not have any money for dressing their open wounds. Once they get admitted here  dressings are done twice daily and they get a lot of relief from pain and discomfort. Their pain is under control    within a couple of days of admission and such things are possible with the money received for medicines,

One such patient is 60 year old Mary (name changed for anonymity).  She hailed from a small village outside Bangalore.  She was married off when she was only 12 years old and within two months her husband expired. The marriage was one in name only.  Amongst people of her caste remarriage was unheard of and she had to spend her life as a widow. It was a cursed life as, young as she was, widows could not attend any religious functions, marriages etc. After her parents died she lived with her brother who did not have enough money to get her treated once she was diagnosed with cancer. There is no awareness about  cancer in rural areas and people believe it is contagious and hence keep away from the cancer patient.    She just suffered the pain and stayed at home till someone told her about Karunashraya and then she was admitted here.  She is happy here as everyone talks to her and takes care of her, treating her like a normal person. Though she had attempted suicide twice before, now she is happy to live and only wants one thing  -  a peaceful death.

We thank our many donors for helping not just Mary but many others like her who have had access to FREE pain relief, food and counselling and have been able to spend their last days in peace  without any financial worry.



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Organization Information

Bangalore Hospice Trust - Karunashraya

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka - India
Website: http:/​/​​NewSite/​Index.html
Project Leader:
Hema Shyam
Bangalore, Karnataka India

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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