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5th Anniversary of Sanvedana Foundation

Sanvedana Foundation the epilepsy support group from Pune completed five years on 22nd Feb 09. We took this opportunity to take a pause, to look at work done till now, to plan for the future and reach out to the society. Sanvedana’s anniversary celebrations were held on 7th March 09, at S. M. Joshi hall, Pune.

S.M. Joshi hall was packed to capacity with the people with epilepsy and their families, well–wishers, neurologists and with the people from other self help groups. The program started with a prayer, which is always used in all the self help groups, and was followed by the encouraging group song. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Audience were impressed when they saw the inauguration of Sanvedana’s website – sanvedana.aarogya.com Tushar Sampat the trustee of Sanvedana and the Director of aarogya.com and Anand Shinde from aarogya.com told about the website. The website is very user friendly. Visitors can make their blogs and share their experiences, they can chat with a counsellor, they can use the message board to express their concerns & views also send mails to doctors. The most important section in this site is the marriage portal “Vivah”. Vivah a matrimonial portal started for people with special needs. Sanvedana has a started marriage bureau, for people with epilepsy. Personal anonymity is maintained on this marriage portal.

Yashoda, the founder of Sanvedana shared her experiences of the last five years. The audience and the chief guests were impressed by her intense & honest sharing. Yashoda spoke about the foundation of Sanvedana, many experiences with Sanvedana and the lessons she learned through these experiences. Yashoda said, “When I announced about Sanvedana’s first meeting, I was not sure how many people will come. But 40 people with epilepsy were present for the first meeting, and the number of patients for every meeting started increasing slowly. To keep the society aware and to increase the number of patients in the group we kept on writing articles in news papers and magazines every six months. After publishing every article we got a minimum of 50 phone calls. We got more than 100 phone calls when the article about the matrimonial meet of epilepsy was published.”

Sanvedana’s mentor and trustee Dr Anil Awachat’s speech about Sanvedana was a received positively by the audience. He said that this work is being fruitful only because the people who have suffered are working genuinely. He also said that acceptance and positive thinking are two most important points in life. Happiness makes the person habitual of happiness and sadness teaches the lesson of reality to the person. People were impressed when they heard his poem:


Sanvedana’s seeds were sown five years ago, but we think that now the tree has started bearing fruits, because the famous neurologist and the day’s speaker Dr Rahul Kulkarni said, “When I see epilepsy patients in the clinic, I can easily recognize who is a member of Sanvedana and who is not, through his/her behaviour and confidence level! I always recommend that epilepsy patients should first join Sanvedana because the self help group’s work makes the recovery easier.” He also said that Sanvedana is growing and he is sure that one day it will be the best epilepsy self help group in India!

The chief guest, a famous Marathi author Mr Mukund Taksale said, “From my childhood I have seen people suffering with epilepsy, but people used to hide it. I am happy to see that here people with epilepsy are easily sharing about their epilepsy. My very best wishes are for Sanvedana to grow, and I am dreaming for Sanvedana’s 25th anniversary!”