Interactive social service in times of corona
If you are thinking the social sector has gone for a hiatus during the pandemic, then you’re wrong.
Certainly, the challenges of coronavirus have hit all kinds of organisations alike, even public welfare. And, in a time where social distancing has become the norm and most cities are still under lockdown, putting a charitable event together can be tough, to say the least. Of course, sites and services like GoFundMe and Ketto can connect donors with many companies or even real people for that matter; however, most of these initiatives seem neither interactive nor engaging.
This is why CanSupport, India’s largest palliative care programme set up by Harmala Gupta in 1996, decided to change this. Since its inception, the NGO has brought medical, emotional, social and spiritual care at the homes of people battling cancer. It now has 31 teams and currently, it looks after 2600 patients at any time in Delhi, Haryana, UP and Punjab free of charge.
Winds of change
On June 26 2020, to further its goals, CanSupport will be hosting a masterclass with renowned chef Rahul Akerkar on Zoom. The registration fee for this class is ₹500 and all the funds that will be collected from this initiative will go into providing free home-based palliative serve to cancer patients.
In the masterclass, Akerkar, known for his bold and unscripted approach to food and is the founder and managing partner of Qualia Hospitality LLP, will be guiding all the students through a vegetarian and non-vegetarian version of Zucchini and Potato Torte (a dish that can be used as a side or even as the main dish for a light luncheon). At the end of the class, chef Akerkar would also be taking selected questions from the attendees
Akerkar says, “Having lost my father last November made me realise how important palliative care is for the terminally ill and their families. Few realise just how much the families, who are generally the primary caregivers when terminally ill relatives come home to die, break down and need counselling to cope with the situation.”
“Palliative care is in its nascent stages here in India,” he explains, “And when an organisation like CanSupport provides it free of cost, you just have to do whatever you can to support them. The dish I’m doing is simple, hearty and very delicious — both when you eat it fresh out of the oven, or a day later, at room temperature.”
Cause and effect
Harmala Gupta adds, “The masterclass series is an initiative to make people aware of the importance of palliative care and to raise funds. We are grateful to those who have excelled in mastering skills in their particular field and are willing to collaborate with us to share their knowledge. We believe that through this initiative more people will be able to know about the work of CanSupport and support us in taking care of cancer patients.”
Radhika Shapoorjee, who has served as the board member of CanSupport since 2018, reveals how the organisationis planning to host one to two masterclasses in a month. “If we get a good response, then this is going to be an ongoing series. Other than Rahul, we will be hosting masterclasses by veterans like celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani and Dinesh Khanna, who has more than 30 years of experience as a photographer,” she says.
While the success of such an initiative can only be determined with time, with these exciting master classes by CanSupport, one thing’s for sure, charity can really begin at your home.
From HT Brunch, June 21, 2020
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