World Parkinson Day in Mumbai, India, April 2011
Contributed by Maria Barretto
Coordinator, PDMDS, Mumbai
Parkinson’s Disease & The Movement Disorder Society (PDMDS), an all India 'Registered Charitable Organization', got over 350 people with Parkinson’s (PWP’s) and their families, medical and allied health professionals, philanthropists, students and well-wishers together to celebrate World Parkinson’s Day on the 10th of April, 2011 at the S.P. Jain Auditorium in Mumbai.
The PDMDS was founded 10 years ago by Prof. B.S. Singhal to improve the life of people with Parkinson’s disease. Over the last 10 years the PDMDS has touched the lives of many PWPs. The theme of this year's celebration ‘Let’s Do It Together’ symbolized the ethos of the PDMDS and the belief that through collaboration much is possible.
Members of the Support Groups set a cheerful tone for the rest of the morning with a beautiful welcome song followed by a prayer and the traditional lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries present. Dr. B.S. Singhal, Hon. Secretary of PDMDS, delved into the history of the day and the PDMDS, and Chief guest Mr. R. Jhunjhunwalla industrialist and philanthropist through his speech spread hope amongst all present.
The activities and programs presented by Dr. Maria Baretto highlighted the approach of the Society to reach out to as many PWPs through support groups. She charted their journey which started with a single support group of three members in 2005 to the current seven support groups with over 700 PWPs.
Visuals of the education and therapy programs, dance and art sessions and picnics and outdoor gatherings displayed the enthusiasm and energy at these meetings and the need to increase the number of support groups to reach out to more. The artistic and creative talents of the group were demonstrated at the art and craft exhibition at the same venue.
The scientific program for the day included presentations by Dr. Pettarusp Wadia on "The emerging trends in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease" and Dr. Rajvi Mehta on "Yoga for Parkinson’s." Entertainment was a cheerful session of dance and song by members of the various Support Groups. "Physiotherapy to a medley of popular songs" showcased PWP’s enjoying group physiotherapy to music.
The highlight of the program was the dance performance with the dancers draped in the colors of the rainbow. The performers moved through the audience encouraging PWPs in the audience to join in the dance. The final song - an old Bollywood song “Masti Bhara Hai Sama” (Fun filled time) - with lyrics composed for the occasion encouraged living a fun-filled life with Parkinson's.
The gathering saw the most delightful conclusion with PWPs breaking into spontaneous song and dance. The day’s events ended with tea and snacks and a feeling of togetherness and hope for the future.