Asraya is a voluntary organization helping with the necessities of patients at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), Thiruvananthapuram.
To mark its tenth anniversary, the Governer R.L. Bhatia released a souvenir on Wednesday. He handed over a copy of the souvenir to the RCC director Dr. D. Rajan. Mr. Bhatia, who applauded the services provided by the organization, donated Rs.50,000 to it.
A housewife Santha Jose started Asraya in 1996. It commenced as an endeavor of a group of housewives to do voluntary service for the patients at the RCC 10 years back. Today it is a well-established organization that provides financial and psychological support to several cancer patients and their families.
In her speech, J Lalithambika, also a patron of Asraya, put the message of Asraya in these words - "Fight, fight, and fight against cancer, never give up."
"Cancer patients and their by-standers need physical, moral and financial help than any other patients," said Santha Jose. "Kanjivellam is a great relief to the chemo patients. So we started distributing kanjivellam in the wards. Our members spend time in the paediatric ward, telling stories to children there. Today, after 10 years, the patients eagerly wait for us. They know we care," said Santha.
Asraya was begun with a fund of Rs. 42,000. Today, with the support from several organizations, it has a fund of Rs. 24 lakhs of which, an average of 1.5 lakhs is given for medical assistance to poor patients.
Conducting classes on fight against cancer and rehabilitation of cured patients are some of the other services of Asraya. This organization also provides educational and vocational training to the kids of the cancer patients.
The 10 years of selfless service by the volunteers of this organization, has been a demanding at the same time a satisfying experience for them.