Archive for March, 2014

An Appeal on Behalf of the Aged

Posted in Aged, Alzheimer's, Care for the Aged, Dementia, Social with tags on March 8, 2014 by swatiaiyer

Dear friends,

I am coming to you today with an appeal for support for the cause of the aged. As you all know, as life expectancy increases, the incidence of illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s is also rapidly on the increase. Many Western countries have the infra-structure and social back up to deal with the needs of such people and their families.

Patients suffering from dementia/Alzheimer’s require constant care and attention and very often this is not possible in a domestic set up. The demands on the care-givers is intense and with the kind of changes our social set up is undergoing, this becomes next to impossible to deal with at home.

Unfortunately, we do not have too many organizations which help care for patients with such intensive care. There is to the best of my knowledge just one such organization which provides in-house specialized care for such patients. They also provide home care and nursing for those requiring such help. This is an organization called “Nightingales’ Medical Trust”. They have a number of centres in Bangalore and one such is dedicated to the care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. My mother is admitted there since more than a year and I can attest to the quality of care that is provided to these elderly people. (I would like to mention here, that it is not only the aged, but also middle age people who suffer from dementia – early onset dementia. I have been shocked to see people of my age over there).

Yesterday, I received a petition from this organization. They are looking to expand their services and open more centres in other places as well to cater to the needs of patients.

One new centre is almost near completion and will be opened very soon in Kolar in Karnataka. I am enclosing a copy of the appeal I received here in the hope that there will be some people who will be able to help out a needy and good cause.

I am also giving a link to their facebook site, so that you can satisfy yourselves about the veracity and legitimacy of the organization for yourselves. It is

Dear Sir/Madam,

Having developed various innovative support systems for the well being of the older persons in the area of home health care, mitigating loneliness through enrichment centres, combating elder abuse, financially empowering needy elders, medical care for aged in rural areas and dementia care through Nightingales Centre for Ageing & Alzheimer’s (NCAA) now Nightingales Medical Trust (NMT), a registered non profit organization is embarking on a major challenge of making dementia care accessible, efficient and affordable in India.

In India, today, about 37 lakh people are affected with dementia and the number is expected to double by 2030.

Dementia is a progressive brain and degenerative brain syndrome. It affects memory, thinking, behaviour, emotions and the activities of daily living. In India, caregivers are mostly the family members. The disease affects both patient and the caregiver. In advanced stages, the patient needs institutional care. But in India, Institutional care is available only in few cities, making it inaccessible and unaffordable.

Since 2010, Nightingales Centre for Ageing & Alzheimer’s (NCAA) has been providing a wide range of services, including institutional care. Patients from Bangalore and other parts of the country are utilizing the services. Yet, the demand is growing day by day.


To bring down the cost of institutional care for dementia patients significantly and to benefit more needy patients, NMT is planning to establish Satellite Dementia Care Centers by using technology and telemedicine solutions based on a Hub & Spokes Model with Nightingales Centre for Ageing & Alzheimer’s as the hub. As a pilot project Nightingales has initiated steps to establish the first such centre , a 38 bed facility, at Kolar town (60kms from Bangalore) at the premises of ETCM hospital. Once this pilot project becomes a success, we will be setting up more satellite units like this in different towns and cities in India enabling affordable, accessible and efficient dementia care.

Renovation work has almost been completed and the centre is expected to be functional by the end of March 2014.


To make this center functional we need the following requirements.

1. Furniture & Fixtures : 14.25 lakh

2. Medical Equipment : 6.5 lakh

3. Telemedicine Solutions: 9.25 lakh

As a person / organization concerned about dementia care, may we request you very earnestly to contribute your best for this project to make dementia care accessible, efficient and affordable in India

The names of those who contribute over Rupees Fifty Thousand will be displayed prominently at the Centre.


a. Cheque favoring Nightingales Medical Trust to the following address:

The Managing Trustee
Nightingales Centre for Ageing and Alzheimer’s
No. 8P6, 3rd A Cross, East of NGEF Layout
Kasturinagar, Banaswadi, Bangalore – 43
Karnataka, India
Ph: +91 80 42426565

b. Alternatively, you could also transfer the donation to the following bank account after sending an email to us.
A/C Name : Nightingales Medical Trust
A/C No. : 06681010000097
IFSC Code : IFSC SYNB 0000668
Bank Name : Syndicate Bank
Branch : Kasturinagar Branch, Bangalore – 560043

Bank Details (For Foreign Currency)
A/C Name : Nightingales Medical Trust
A/C No. : 183010022816
IFSC Code : VYSA0001830

Kindly note, all donations to NMT is exempt U/S 80G of the Income Tax Act and the Trust is approved under FCRA to receive contributions from abroad.

Nightingales Medical Trust has also been recognized by Silicon Valley Foundation as the equivalent of a US public charity.

With kind regards
Dr Radha S Murthy
Nightingales Medical Trust
I request everyone who reads this to help out in whatever way and to whatever extent you can and to spread the word to others who you think will be in a position to help.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely


Defining Feminism

Posted in Feminism, Social, Women on March 3, 2014 by swatiaiyer

This is the month when the world celebrates “women’s day”.  GBs and reams have been dedicated to issues concerning women as well as to their problems.  After all this, one wonders whether women in some parts of the world really have any reason to celebrate their womanhood.

Without harping on the issues which are widely discussed, I want to focus on a relatively new problem faced by women.  We talk of equality, freedom and liberation from the shackles to which society has bound us.  Feminists – a much maligned lot – are doing all they can to better the lot of women.  But are they achieving what they are trying to?

Blog after blog, post after post and various women’s sites are witness to women coming in reporting their disillusionment with their situation in life.  Educated, working, earning, playing the roles of dils, wives and mothers to the hilt, having their money taken away by ILs, not being allowed to take care of their own parents, being forced to either give up their jobs to take care of children or worse still having to balance work, home and kids with little help and a lot of taunts ……  it is all there.  Nothing changes.

YET whenever a stay at home mom or a home maker comes and complains about her issues with life, the first question she is asked by other women is “why did you get into an arranged marriage, why are you not working, why does your husband have to earn for you, do you think what he goes through being saddled with a wife and having to earn for the family single handedly” ……. 

I shall not even get into the topic of arranged marriages here as that is a subject for another discussion altogether.

While I can understand that a truly liberated, self-sufficient woman MUST be able to earn and stand on her own feet, my question is are we still at that stage?  Are we in a situation where working women stay unmarried, single or in an equal relationship?  Do they really get respect for their abilities and for their individuality?  As things stand today, all I see is that women are being caught between the devil and the deep sea – very few choose or have a third option open to them.  They are probably in a worse situation than their grand mothers who were financially dependent, had no other life or options beyond home and family, but it ended there.  They were not in a situation where they had to be superwomen and achievers while living the same life of drudgery and slavery which many women of today live.  All we seem to have achieved so far (EXCEPT for a small percentage of women) is that women have ended up in a position where their education and work are being used to exploit them further.

Under these situations, is it fair that we women who fight for the rights of under privileged women add insult to their injuries with our words?  Are we not putting the cart before the horse in demanding that women must work without sorting out the ground issues?

My second question is how do we define “equality”?  Does this have to be 1:1 equality?  Is that really reasonable?  Why can’t women, in the face of their biological differences continue to play a nurturing role while demanding respect and value for that COMPLEMENTARY ROLE?  Why should running a home, looking after family and kids be considered demeaning?  It is one thing going out and working because one wants to, or because the family requires it financially (in which case, she better be treated well and fairly) and another matter having to go out and work just to make a statement.  

Why should home makers be considered unequal?  What is the use of marriage if one’s contribution to society and family are not acknowledged to be as important as going out and raking in the moolah?  Why do we (men and women) have to lose out on real “home life” simply because everyone has to go out and earn just to be acknowledged as “equals”?  All of us require a safe haven in our lives to return to at the end of the day – we call them homes – and in providing this, women need to be given their due acknowledgement and be compensated in terms of emotional and financial security – after all if they had gone out to work during that time, they would not have been available at home to provide that comfort to all concerned.  To my way of thinking, equality would be admitting that they work 24X7 in various roles / designations.  This needs to be recognized and all family members need to pitch in to help her out when they are not out working.  The home needs to be recognized as the woman’s “work place” and not as a hideout or a route of escape and free loading on her part.

It would be nice to share some ideas towards sorting out this grid lock to ensure that women lead better existences in the decades to come.

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