Report on Patna Patient Group Meeting 17 March 2018

by FOM Volunteer Prashant Kumar

Patna is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar and the second largest city in eastern India after Kolkata. Ancient Patna, known as Pataliputra, was the capital of the Magadha Empire. Pataliputra was also a famous seat of learning and fine arts. The modern city of Patna is situated on the southern bank of the Ganga. The city also straddles the rivers Sone, Gandak and Punpun. Interestingly, from India, five Emperors are considered as “The Great”: Ashoka, Chandragupta, Vikramaditya, Samudragupta and Akbar. Barring Akbar, all of them belonged to Patna (Pataliputra).

The 11th Meet at Patna was scheduled on 17th March 2018 at AIIMS, Patna, but the preparation started almost a month before with the telephone-calling to patients for the Meet from the head office at Mumbai. All credit goes to Ameya and Priyanka for the calling and coordinating with doctors for the Meet.

Amma arrived at Patna on 16th March. From airport we straight away went to the venue. There we met Dr. Pritanjali (Associate Professor, Dept. of Radiation Oncology, AIIMS) who herself was looking after all the arrangements for the meet. We also met with the vendors and after getting satisfied we left the place with a decision to meet at 8 a.m. sharp on 17th March morning at AIIMS.

On 17 March, the day started with Lord Indra’s blessings. A small amount of raindrops settled all the dust and made the weather more pleasant. We (Amma, I, Dinesh Kumar, Sanjiv Kumar Jha and his wife) arrived at the venue at 8 a.m. and there joined with some other volunteers: Manoj, Nitesh, Amlendu, Satyam etc. Soon registration table was set up. Banners were placed. A beautiful rangoli of FOM was made by the junior doctors at the entrance of the auditorium. Sanjiv and his wife had taken charge of the registration, while Amma as usual was busy greeting all the patients and their care givers. There was gathering of more than 300 plus people. After registration we all had breakfast and tea, then we were asked to take our seats at auditorium. A large team of doctors were present not only from AIIMS, Patna but from other hospitals too. The doctors present there includes: Dr. Sadhana, Dr. Pritanjali, Dr. Bagchi, Dr. Ruchi from AIIMS; Dr. Dinesh Kumar Sinha from IGIMS, Dr. Manisha Singh from Mahavir Cancer Sansthan, Dr. Avinash Kumar Singh from Paras Hospital and Dr. Ridu from Magadh Hospital.

The meeting was then called to attention and the National Anthem was played. After that all the doctors and Amma was requested to light the ceremonial lamp and let the Meet begin.

Dr. Pritanjali addressed the gathering and the meeting was set on roll. Amma gave a beautiful insight on The Max Foundation and its activities. The doctors (esp. Dr. Avinash) and the audiences went emotional after seeing the presentation on Max Foundation.

This was followed by a brief introduction on Friends of Max by Prashant Kumar.

The much awaited session of Question & Answer with Medical Expert was chaired by Dr. Pritanjali, Dr. Dinesh, Dr. Ruchi, Dr. Ridu & Dr. Bagchi. The gathering of patients and their care givers 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.

Vote of Thanks was then given by Dinesh, an active FOM volunteer, Patna Chapter. A special thanks to Dr. Pritanjali and her whole AIIMS, Patna team was given for the great arrangement at the venue. Mementos were given to all the doctors as a token of love from FOM, Patna.

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 pm and Amma took charge of workshop on compliance. The whole crowd was divided into four groups as per the coloured name tags they worn. One leader was selected to represent the group. Every group was given a piece of chart paper and was asked to pen down 5 points which force them to take their medicine regularly. Then each team was asked to pen down 5 points due to which they sometimes forget to take medicine. The whole crowd participated and came out with some interesting facts. This reflected their alertness at the morning session and inclination to know more about CML.

Post the workshop, the gathering joined together singing “Hum Honge Kamiyab”. Tea was served at the end and everyone dispersed with a bagful of information, Joy in their Hearts and Smiles on their faces.