Asian and Oceanian Section

World Parkinson's Day Celebration in Mumbai, India

The Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Society (PDMDS) was registered in Mumbai in 2001, and organized its first World Parkinson’s Day (WPD) event in 2003. In that year, an international symposium was organized, with 40 international Movement Disorders Experts as faculty, together with Mrs. Mary Baker, the then Chairperson of the WHO workgroup on Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The very first Global Declaration for PD was launched at this inaugural meeting, signed by industrialists and celebrities of India, together with the visiting faculty. Since then, PDMDS has been organizing the WPD event every year in Mumbai, and people with PD and their caregivers in India look forward to this event each year.

Welcome song by Borivli Support GroupThe WPD event was held on 11 April this year. About 400 people with PD and their caregivers from the various support groups in Mumbai attended this event. Dr. B.S. Singhal (founder and secretary of the PDMDS) welcomed the gathering and set the tone for the proceedings. The celebrations began with the prayers and traditional lighting of the lamp by Mr. B.M. Parikh (President, PDMDS) and invited guests. The Borivli support group, known for bonding like a family and having annual picnics, sang a song with special lyrics written for PD.

This was followed by a short audio visual presentation by Maria Barretto (Coordinator, PDMDS) highlighting the activities and programs organized at the various PDMDS support group meetings. Dr. J. Lalkaka presented a highly informative and enlightening talk on ‘Update on Parkinson’s Disease,’ with emphasis on the different treatment modalities & the latest developments in PD care. Drs. Pettarusp Wadia and Charulata Sankhla joined Dr. Lalkaka to answer the several questions posed by the audience.

Our hearts speak through danceMr. Prakash Shetty, a jazz pianist living with Parkinson’s disease for the last eight years and recipient of international awards, gave a brilliant performance with his own compositions of ‘New Age Music.’ This was followed by a dance performance by PD patients and their caregivers. The program was choreographed and produced by the celebrated dance teacher Ms. Devika Mehta. Audience was mesmerized by couples dancing to retro-Bollywood music, Indian dance with adaptation of salsa and waltz, and freestyle solo dancing. The audience stood up and applauded when the performers took a bow holding aloft a banner with a beautiful message "Our hearts speak when we dance."

The celebration ended with a fellowship and lunch and a reiteration of the spirit of the members of the support groups ‘Yes, I may have Parkinson’s, but Parkinson’s will not have me.”

Contributed by Maria Barretto
Coordinator, PDMDS, Mumbai