Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Accept Society- Compassion in action

On 1 April 2009, i had an opportunity to visit Accept society, A NGO located in Bangalore (Off hennur cross) on a 3 acre plot. It is located just behind Karanataka rehabilitation center. it is surrounded by few other NGOs mostly working on women and child welfare, Rehabilitation of AIDS patients etc. Mostly all NGOs located here work in health sector. Accept India is also one such NGO who care and work for AIDS patients. They counsel the patients, rehabilitate them, give them care and love. They also perform their last rites.

One of the leading corporate audit firms who as a part of their CSR initiatives, are funding accept society had invited me to study the water management practices of the place and and give recommendations on how to augment the water sources and better manage water. Currently Accept society is facing huge water shortage and paying a heavy price for tanker and bottled water.

My job apart, the concept of accept india, the motivation of the people who work there and the atmosphere there struck me.

I took about an hour and a half in studying the drawings , the layout etc. Then i asked the administrator to tell me something about Accept society. The administrator in his early sixties was more than happy to receive my request.
He was quite overwhelmed by my request. He started the story with the genesis of accept society, he showed us around the campus, the different facilities, he introduced us to the doctors, nurses, cooks, drivers, and the patients. Below i write my experience of close to 3 hours time i spent there.
As soon as i entered the place, i was struck by its cleanliness. One cannot believe that its an hospital or a rehabilitation center. The lawns were moved perfectly, the drains speck clean and the floor nicely wiped. Actually it was in stark contrast to even few big private hospitals who do not even reach 50% cleanliness i saw here.

The society has few rooms(wards) named after biblical names. There are two big halls for the patients. Each hall had about 12 beds and a cupboard for each bed. All of them are speck clean and maintained very well. Apart from these two halls, the society has a common kitchen, common dining hall, common prayer hall and a community hall.

I was amazed to know that this society also accepts people who have been infected by opportunistic viruses post contracting HIV. So there is an exclusive 10 bed ward each for male and female who are suffering from TB.

The most touching part of my experience was the children home. No staff of accept calls the children as patients. Everyone from nurse to doctor to the cook call them (children) as "Our children".

Children are given all the possible facilities with the limited budget of accept. All the children go to school. When i was there in April, it was summer vacation. So there was a summer camp arranged within accept. So the kids were singing, some of them playing. One will be surprised to know that the teachers there get their kids too who are not HIV positives to the summer camp and play with the children (HIV positives).

The sad part is that almost all children there are orphans. Sadder is the fact that all of them know that they are suffering from a disease. The kids i saw there were all in the age group of 4 to 10.

The most moving part was the plight of the two resident doctors there. One of them specializes in the real last minute care. She told me that she can identify patients who are likely to breathe their last about 15 in advance. She specializes in taking care of those patients for the last 15 minutes of their life. God give her the courage. She has been doing this job for the last 3 years.
HIV itself is deadly and the person who contracted it is most unfortunate. One can blame the adults for their misconduct or carelessness for contracting this deadly virus. But what is the fault of those innocent children? They have just got it from their mother. World is really unfair.
Well, no one feels happy visiting those places. But one surely gets moved. The saddest part of the entire thing is that every kid in the society gets to know when there is a death of one of their peers. The administrator told me that there is no way to insulate the news.

The challenge the administration faces apart from taking care of the patients there is to revamp the group of children, to build confidence in children, to energize the children, to fill in courage to children after each death. And this has to be done almost week after week.

I left the place around 2 in the noon. Just before getting onto the bike, i saw a nurse walking towards the children home. The courageous lady, she knows she is going to see one more death in a few days. But yet puts up a bold face. What substance you should have been made of to know that the people who visit you come to spend their last days with you. They come to you to see them to their last journey. Hats off to all the staff of Accept India. hats off to the real heroes. May god give them the courage and energy.


  1. Its a nice thing that the organization like these are doing for the society and i am very much touched by the way you have narrated your experiences here. The last few lines leaves a bitter feeling, but thats how the life goes.

  2. Sunil very nicely written and we should contribute our best for this group. Let us do that.

  3. Hi Sunil its Shashi from BMSCE..hope u remeber......

    Your experience in "Accept" is very touching.I am very much impressed by your concern towards such people in our society..Its we who can do something and can contribute to such organisations aiming to do good for the society....