Our Patient Advocates for the Month of September 2020 are Professor Subratanath Koner, FOM Trustee and his wife, Stuti Koner, FOM City Chapter Leaders from Kolkata.
Prof. Koner is an alumnus of Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan and Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata. He grew up in Santiniketan, Kolkata. Stuti studied at Elphinstone College, Mumbai and Jadavpur University, Kolkata, having grown up in three cities – Shillong, Mumbai and Kolkata.
Dr. Subratanath Koner is a professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Their daughter, Sakura Koner is pursuing her post graduation in Zoology from Calcutta University. She enjoys reading books. Together, they love travelling and eating out as a family.
Speaking about their contribution towards FOM, Stuti said that she has tried her best to be a worthwhile member of the FOM Kolkata City Chapter. In trying to help set up the city chapter, she took upon herself the responsibility of telephoning people, connecting them, educating and informing them about the aims and functions of FOM. Being a part of the organizing team helped her plan the agenda, formulate the requirements and act accordingly along with the help of other workers. Later, she had the satisfaction of seeing that everything went well. Today, as a part of the Kolkata group, she attends to patients who often call her for some clarifications. She tries her best to answer or guide them. “I hope to carry on serving as much as I can,” she said.
Prof. Koner volunteers with the City Chapter activities in arranging meetings, visiting hospitals to motivate patients and is a Trustee for FOM.
Recalling one of her experiences while volunteering at FOM, Stuti says, “Living in metropolitan cities we seldom realise the hardships faced by people living in far-flung areas. I had once called a patient to communicate a message on behalf of The Max Foundation. But I got to know that the phone number that I called on actually belonged to a friend of his. I was informed that he could not be reached then, because the river he had to cross to receive the phone, was in high tide. I was asked to call back later when the tide had subsided. What struck me was that The Max Foundation had taken him in its fold and managed to provide him with medications and support, even when such patients reside in the interiors of our country.”
Along with FOM, Stuti shared that she tries not to miss any opportunity where she can be of any help to others. “I derive great satisfaction from being able to support others in their difficult times,” she said.
Their message to other patients and caregivers is simple and inspiring:
“I want to say to the patients and caregivers that there is nothing to fear. When confronted with such news, fear cripples us but I want to assure them that they are in good hands and will be cared for. Simply have trust and faith in the Friends of Max,” says Stuti.