Report by FOM Pramod John George
Aurangabad, known The City of Gates, was where we had our Friends of Max (FOM) patients support group meeting on 19 November 2017. A quiet city founded in 1610, it has its own share of traditional & archeological history.
At 8:00 am, we had 10 people waiting patiently at the entrance of Indian Medical Association building for the auditorium to be vacated. That showed the enthusiasm with which the team of Dr. Jayant Indurkar led by Mr. Subhash Sable had made arrangements for the meeting.
Once the venue was available for us, Subhash Sable and his team along with the FOM Mumbai Team & FOM Pune Team got into action of setting up the venue. Pune team took charge of setting up & manning the Registration counter. All arrangements were done, invitees started coming in and after breakfast started occupying the seats at the auditorium. With the needle of the clock ticking people started increasing and by 10:30 extra seats had to be arranged to accommodate the gathering. A gathering of 150 plus people at a venue where FOM does not have a local City Chapter Leader is a fabulous response.
The meeting was then called to attention and the National Anthem was played. Dr. Jayant Indurkar addressed the gathering and the meeting was set on roll. Ameya Surve (Program Officer, The Max Foundation) gave a beautiful insight on The Max Foundation and its activities in Marathi.
This was followed by a brief introduction on Friends of Max by Pramod George.
The much awaited session of Question & Answer with Medical Expert was chaired by Dr. Jayant Indurkar & Dr. Prakash Devde. The gathering of patients and their family members actively participated in the same. Doctors were bombarded with questions one after the other and the doctors using their vast experience explained all medical terms in simple language that any layman can understand. At the end of the session a sign of relief could be seen on the face of many participants as the word cancer was diluted into just another ailment that needed special medical attention.
Amma asked the Mumbai & Pune FOM leaders to come on stage and challenged the audience to be part of the movement in the city of Aurangabad. The response was beyond imagination. 15 participants walked up the stage and expressed interest in being a FOM City Chapter Leader from their region.
Vote of Thanks was then given Yogiraj Dhake City Chapter leader from Pune FOM. Besides thanking every one, a special mention of Dr Jayant Indurkar was recorded, based on the number of participants, reflecting his popularity.
The customary Group Photo was taken. The gathering then broke for lunch with an assurance that they will meet again after lunch for an interesting session that would be led by Amma.
The gathering regrouped at 2:30 and Viji Venkatesh (Region Head, India & South Asia, The Max Foundation) took charge of her session of Interactive Quiz on CML. Four groups got split as per the colour badges. Two leaders were selected to represent the groups for the quiz. And the quiz master began quizzing. Inspite of being a new group of more that 95 % people attending such a meeting for 1st time, majority of the answers were given correctly. This reflected their alertness at the morning session and inclination to know more about CML.
Post the quiz, the gathering joined together singing “Hum Honge Kamyab” the Hindi version of “We shall overcome” and enquiring when is the next meeting making us take a bow at the enthusiasm. Tea was served at the end and everyone dispersed with a bagful of information, Joy in the Hearts and Smiles on their faces.
I would like to specifically mention that under the guidance of Amma, The Max Foundation team have become independent and it could be seen in Ameya Surve’s style and confidence in handing things at the unknown venue. All things well coordinated for over a month and everything fell into its allotted slots.