Posted by Viji Venkatesh on October 04, 2010
Last weekend saw the MaxIndia team and the Friends of Max Core Group from Mumbai make the four hour road trip across the scenic Western Ghats (mountain ranges) to Pune to join the Pune team for the second Celebration of Life event of the year. Pune, formerly known as Poona is the second largest city after Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra and the cultural capital of the state.
The event for all practical purposes began the previous evening itself with the 12 member strong contingent from Mumbai reaching Pune and a pre-meeting planning dinner meet arranged where the next day’s agenda was planned and discussed in detail and responsibilities doled out to MaxIndia as well Friends of Max team members.
The twin themes of the meeting – Awareness and Good Adherence had already been established with the Tribute Wall being put up and the volunteers alerted on what to focus on in their interactions within the group. More importantly the guest physicians too had been primed ahead to keep compliance as the key note of the session.
Once the concept of the Tribute Wall and the Cancer Declaration was explained it sparked a spontaneous surge of messages from the 200 plus attendees, emphasizing the importance of being courageous and compassionate at the same time many survivors also shared how they were learning to take responsibility for themselves first too.
The presentation on the importance of compliance was followed by an Art Therapy session in which participants created visual images of what they were taking away from the presentation. As the dozen or so artists who had created the most compelling posters shared their pictorial outpourings it was a Testimonial sharing like no other!!
With each meeting existing constraints necessitate thinking on our feet and since we were not allowed to put up anything on the wall of the auditorium it was decided to use the humble thermocol sheet and spruce it up with a hurriedly drawn ‘Sparrow of Hope” as our Maximize Life mascot has been nick named in India . It became the centre of attraction and the focal point of the meeting.
This regional meeting brought together and cemented people from all walks of life and all ages and established many new relationships other than the all important one of the newly cemented Pune Core group. Truly Maximising of many lives.