“My Life, My Rights – No Carers Left Behind”
Last Thursday, Andhra Pradesh held its fifth Carers Day celebration. The event was organised in collaboration with Thrinethra Carers Association, NGO SACRED and Carers Worldwide. More than 150 carers participated at the event.
The day began with a huge rally on the high street of Dhone Mandal where carers carried placards with messages about caring. Onlookers were very curious and asked many questions, so the rally certainly achieved its objective of raising awareness about the issues of carers with the general public!
After the rally, participants gathered for a series of talks by carers and staff from the carers’ projects. Attendees of the talks included government officials. One senior government official of Andhra Pradesh, Mrs Chandrakala of Velugu Programme commented “This is the first time I heard about the carers’ issue. I am now committed to raising awareness about carers amongst the 10,000+ women’s groups in Dhone Mandal”
Mrs Hussianbi, a carer from Peapully Mandal spoke about how the carers group had been a life line for her own sanity and that without the support she receives from other carers she would not be able to cope with her situation.
Anil Patil, Founder and Executive Director of Carers Worldwide attended the event and explained how work with family carers in India has grown. “Initially when we started there was a lot of confusion about carers: Who are they? What are their issues? Do we need to highlight this issue? Isn’t the family structure supposed to provide the support? Over time, it became more and more apparent to both ourselves and the communities where we work that carers face issues and challenges yet have no-one to support them. This kick-started the grassroots carers’ movement which has continued to grow, with carers who have been involved in our projects since the start now introducing new carers to the movement.”
Five years ago, 100 carers were involved in the carers’ movement in this region. Now, our work has transformed the lives of more than 1,600 carers through nearly 150 carers groups, 8 block-level federations and 1 District Carers Association. As this expansion continues, it is very clear now that no-one will be able to stop the carers’ movement.
Anil would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all the members of the Trinethra Carers Association, the staff at SACRED, carers, the government representatives, print and electronic media reporters and everyone else involved in making this Carers Day Celebration a huge success.