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Home `Both My Twins Have Epilepsy. I Can Pay For The Treatment Of Only One'

`Both My Twins Have Epilepsy. I Can Pay For The Treatment Of Only One'

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Indian Express
02 September 2010
By Samarpita banerjee

City Anchor A City–based Foundation, Sanvedana Epilepsy Support Group Comes Up With A Project To Help Poor People With Epilepsy
Members of Sanvedana interact with people suffering from epilepsyMembers of Sanvedana interact with people suffering from epilepsy
IT was when a father of two eighteen–year–old twins approached the foundation saying that he cannot afford the expenses of the medicines and only treat one of his sons for epilepsy that members of the Sanvedana Epilepsy Support Group felt that they needed to do something to help poor people. Today, they are coming out with a project under which well–wishers of the foundation will adopt one such poor patient, and finance his medical expenses for a year.

Yashoda Wakankar, who started the foundation said that the incident of the twins shocked her and the other members of the foundation and forced them to think of an alternative. Wakankar started the charitable trust in 2004.

“We were shocked to know that a father could treat just one of his sons while both of them were suffering from the disorder. He said he could not help it as he works as a farmer in a village and thus cannot bear the expense that treating both his sons would bring on him. Thus he treated the son who was physically more fit and could help him in the farm," said Wakankar.

After this incident, the members thought of an alternative, that of suggesting to the well–wishers of the foundation to adopt one such financially weak patient and provide for his expenses for a year. Radhika Deshpande, who is the trustee of the foundation, said, "Pune being an IT hub, there is no shortage of money among people. And many are even ready to help.

Just that they do not know of a medium through which they can help them. We will be that medium between these people and the well–wishers who want to help."Wakankar said that they will not be giving away money to these people. "We will give the people medicines for two months for two reasons.

Firstly to ensure that they do not spend the money on anything other than medicines and secondly because many times the medicines and doses need to be changed after a couple of months. So we will ensure that the money is put to good use," said Wakankar. Speaking about the role that a self help group plays in the lives of the people suffering from the disorder, Deshpande said, "We do not provide these people with any medical advice. What we do is talk to them and share their experiences. There still is a big stigma attached to the disorder. Its not only the uneducated but also the educated people who need to be more informed about the disorder."

Ravindra Bapat, whose daughter suffers from the disorder, is also a part of the group. He feels support groups like Sanvedana can do a lot to help these people. "At times, there are factors other than medicines that help you overcome epilepsy. We try to provide them with these other factors, be it a platform to share their problems or a place where they can come to know about others problems. At times, the fact that there are other people who get more attacks than a particular person can make him realise that he is not in that bad a condition and help in increasing his confidence," said Bapat.

"The message that we want to send across is that epilepsy is a disorder and not a disease. Epileptic people are completely normal and they can lead perfectly normal lives, get married and have children. It is only when people realise this can the stigma related to the disorder be removed," added Deshpande.
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