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 Adding life to days with love 

Overlooking the Arabian sea and opposite the famous shrine of Mount Mary's Basilica, stands the three storied hospice, where every individual is allowedThe Ashram Building to live in a surrounding that is conducive to his comfort and happiness. This is a place where a helping hand always comes forward to support the weak, to relieve pain & suffering  with comfort and consolation when people need it most, in there times of distress.

Shanti Avedna Ashram, literally means peace in the absence of pain in a place of rest. With a philosophy of caring, the ashram enables the patient to crossover, without pain and suffering. Founded on April 18, 1978 with the late Valerian Cardinal Gracias as its first Patron Trustee, the organisation after nine agonizing years, opened its doors to receive the first inmate on second November, 1986, at its main branch of Shanti Avedna Ashram in Bombay.

All are one" There comes a time in the life of the advanced and terminal cancer patient when we cannot rely on active treatment any longer and say yes to palliative care. Shanti Avednaa Aashram is a place where nursing and medication is provided free of cost irrespective of caste creed and community, in those distressing last few days of a patient's life. We get inmates from all over India. We are making an effort to add life to days and not days to life. " emphasised, Dr. Lucito D' Souza, Trustee, Shanti Avedna Ashram.

The trust's vital aim is to provide medical and nursing care to terminally ill cancer patients. The Aashram is under the care of the Holy Cross Sisters (Kottiyam), an order which provides its own trained nurses and carries out its humanitarian work with love. "Started with only one ward with six- seven beds, today the ashram can accommodate almost fifty people at a time. On an Inside the Buildingaverage, patients stay here for a week and around 500 to 600 patients are treated annually," revealed Sister Ancy.

There are four wards of ten beds each and ten rooms. The unique design of the Ashram enables the patient to have a view of the sea with adequate light and ventilation, his own little verandah and facilities for privacy when needed. One floor houses the men and one floor the women, each with its own recreation area. A common prayer room is maintained for all religions. "After coming here we get to interact with people who are suffering from similar kind of ailments and our awareness increases. Here the nurses take better An inmate of the Ashramcare than any other family member. And the peaceful ambiance heals half of the pain." said, Yashoda Harish, who has come to visit her mother-in-law who is suffering from throat cancer.

One thing that comes to one's mind after meeting these people is that these unfortunate individuals may have lost their battle with cancer, but still remain human beings - with a wish to live.

Across the bridge there's no more sorrow
Across the bridge there's no more pain
The sun will shine across the river
And you will never be unhappy again.
But for those who with cancer their battles have lost !
Crossing the final bridge is slow and painful
Loneliness and depression are an added cost
With poverty and hunger to make it more doleful.
Are those in pain not your brethen too?
Would you your loved one desert in need ?
Extend in love then your helping hand,
To make this crossing a little easier in deed.

_________ L.J.S (source : Shanti Avedna Annual )

The Ashram runs on donations in cash and kind that come to all thebranches. The organisation depends entirely on donation for their good work as they do not get any grants from any other sources. If you want to be a part of this noble cause and want to extend your helping hand do get in touch with:

The Managing Trustee
Shanti Avedna Ashram
216, Mount Mary Road
Opp. Mount Mary's Basilica
Bandra, Mumbai - 400050
Tel : 91-22-6427464
Fax : 91-22-6421889

By : Sharmistha Chakraborty

Pics :Vinayak Prabhu

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