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The Ripple Effect

Lift up. The best motivation.

- Sujata Devadas, October 01 2021 

An infant's delivery also brought the news that her lung did not work properly. Help her mother meet the expense of urgent corrective surgery.

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Patients under the poverty line have no money to do dialysis. Cover the treatment cost.

Terminally ill cancer patients and those suffering paralysis still need medical help till their last breath. Help them pay for  it.

Her sister beams with happiness as the walker helps Shantakumari to move around. Diabetes restricts her mobility.

Recovered after lung operation.

Infant recovers from her lung operation

Walker donated by Kanika Women's Forum, Thrissur, Kerala, India.

Shantakumari with the walker donated by Kanika Women's Forum

Defence against vulnerability

Donating a walker, giving oximeters to Kasturba Old Age Home and to inmates living at Ashrayabhavan, gifting fresh vegetables and umbrellas, paying for an infant's lung operation, constructing toilets for low-income elderly citizens, aiding people in vulnerable circumstances is a regular activity, a part of daily conversation among Kanika Women’s Forum’s (KWF) 160 members.

‘Kanika’ means a drop, a name that indicates members' awareness that their 10 years of altruistic work amount to adding drops into the whole oceanic requirement of individual and social welfare. KWF or Kanika got fulsome recognition in 2016 when they bought manufacturing equipment to make biodegradable sanitary towels. These packaged towels were given free to adolescent girl students in special education schools, Pope Paul Mercy Home and St. Josephs Special School, to use.

Oxygen concentrator donation by Kanika Womens Forum

Oxygen concentrator donation to Thrissur Pain and Palliative Care Centre

Meeting the predicament

May last year, national lockdown due to COVID19 stopped Kanika volunteers from meeting, making and packaging these biodegradable towels daily. All the Forum’s activities could have come to a grinding halt and wound up to disappear. But Kanika sold the idle ST manufacturing unit and used part of that money to purchase an oxygen concentrator. It was donated to Thrissur District Hospital’s Palliative Care Centre.

KWF complied with COVID protocol over the last 19 months, but linked with Sanskriti Vision to buy and give vitamins C and D to the 23 women staying at Kasturba Old Age Home and to 83 others in Ashrayabhavan. They aimed to boost the immunity of the 106 people living there. They gifted new pillows and bedsheets. Touched by Kanika member Radhika Krishnan's gift of oximeters to both places, inmates in both Homes expressed their heart-felt gratitude.

Kanika is one among 600 women’s organisations across India affiliated to the AIWC having a total of 1 lakh volunteers, constantly providing relief, awareness, protection and robust social entrepreneurial ambience in a daunting, challenging environment.

Ashrayabhavan ( Image by Kristaps Ungurs)

takes care of the mentally ill who are STRANDED getting ZERO support, TERMINALLY ILL cancer patients REJECTED by their family and society, BEDRIDDEN and HOMELESS people, those INCURABLY infected by worms. Not funds from foreign agencies, not corporate aid, it is funds donated by the common man that has paid for their livelihood, electricity expenses, medical bills and hospital visits OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS. 

Ashrayabhavan

Oxymeter gift to Kasturba Old Age Home

Oxymeter gift to Kasturba Old Age Home

Subhadramma

Stiff, painful knees made it difficult for  Subhadramma(age 82) and Omana(age 60) to use floor-level toilets. Kanika Womens Forum constructed western toilets in their homes.

Omana

Losing a liberty: formal education

Santosh’s daughters’ got a school education because their blind father paid the school fees by selling peanuts on the street. His hospitalisation wrecked that earning. Yet another case, a house-help, sole earner, had to stop working due to the feeble condition of her heart.

In a diverse nation like India, this southernmost Indian state Kerala rose to fame for reaching 100% literacy in 1991 and 100% primary education by 2016. Formal education in India is a ticket to better employment and upward job mobility. Paying school and college fees for children caught in traps like these was also funded this year, partly from the sale of the idle ST manufacturing unit. Kanika foots the bill for the formal education of Santosh’s 2 daughters, the house-help’s children and of numerous others born to unskilled, now jobless, labourers.

The nominal annual membership fee is not enough to finance a considerable multitude of charitable work. KWF members plus anonymous donors, men and women outside it, however offer financial donations or gifts to help deserving beneficiaries once enquiries to verify the case’s authenticity is complete. Vandana, an orphaned college student with good tailoring skills receiving a sewing machine as a gift by Kanika member Sarojam, is just one such instance. It helps Vandana earn through this vocation.

Aiming at altruistic welfare

The advantage of KWF ’s affiliation to All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) is that its members met elected representatives after the local election in the Janaprathinithi program: Niji Harilal of Kottapuram Division, Lakshmi Viswambaran of Kolazhy panchayat and Sunita Vinu of Civil Lane Division. They learnt about Kanika’s work in January this year, enough layers of altruistic welfare accumulate to be counted. They shared their own plans and dreams for their panchayats and wards in Thrissur, Kerala; the challenges they face.

Hibernation, out of the question

Celebrations and parties are shelved for now, but far from hibernating, the audibility and hearing impairment by Senior Audiologist and Speech Therapist Caroline Geo Brigit was a talk organised and attended by Kanika women. Dr.Harikrishnan, Urologist of Amala Institute of Medical Sciences gave clear explanations on urinary tract infections. Nirbhaya’s lecture demonstration covered self defence. ‘Suraksha’ on dowry related violence and abuse was another among 130 informative discussions organised by AIWC South Zone.

KWF members at Namboodiri Upper Primary Aided School.

Well before the COVID virus pandemic, Kanika's founder Vasanthy Gopalan and Kanika members celebrate gifting CPUs to Namboodiri Vidyalaya Upper Primary Aided School in 2014

Kanika's efforts to deliver humanitarian aid in their community is completing a decade. Their intention : continue.  

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