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Association for Guidance, Education and Support
92, Lady Ratan Tata Medical Center, Cooperage, Mumbai, 400021
Phone: (+91 22) 22047823 
 /  Cancer Helpline: 086524-00000
Email : info@epassages.org, passagescharity@gmail.com
Website : www.epassages.org
THE TEAM:  Dr. Tarana Khubchandani, Kaya Shewakramani, Valerie Singhvi

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”
- Mother Teresa
The year 2015 began with a great loss for Passages with the sad demise of our dear Coomi and, at a personal level, my Mother-in-law. At times like this, superfluous activities and customary actions of the external world take over, giving the indivual time to internally accept the loss of another human being. According to me, the body goes away; what stays with us are several gifts of virtues and values, as legacies.
Dearest Coomi left me with the gift of kindness and genorsity. Her large-heartedness when sanctioning money for our cancer patients and her meticulous method of evaluating the forms remains as a system to be followed.
My Mother-in-law was a mentor to me in the area of ‘karmic’ acts, ‘bhakti’ and rituals. Through her I learnt that that two people could have significant differences and yet respect and love each other! We spent our years living together supportively and compassionately. She taught me the true meaning of compromise, out of respect and duty.
With immense gratitude and lovely memories, both these wonderful souls are very much a part of me, now.Each one of us looks for security, peace of mind and happiness for ourselves. How can one ordinary person - you or me - make a positive difference in this world? One way is the practice of ‘paying it forward.’ People's attitudes about the world can change through unobtrusive acts of kindness and selfless actions. This collective effort can consciously increase the goodness of the world. Endeavours undertaken by Passages and other Non-Profit Organisations create opportunities to contribute and give back to community.
Keep Particpating and Giving of Yourself !

Kaya Shewakramani
REMEMBERING…Dr. Coomi B. Singh
Our dear friend and colleague - Dr. Coomi B. Singh - passed away on February 27th, 2015. As many of you may already know, Coomi had suffered the last couple of years with Cancer. She went away peacefully with a total acceptance of the condition. Her compassionate and generous nature touched the heart of anyone who even met her once! Her smiling face and strong faith gave continued guidance to many. She will always be remembered.
Coomi lives on with us through her big and small written contributions, her inspiring and touching poetry and her thought provoking stories of courage and resilience in all the literature that she authored.
Coomi was an extremely dear friend and an integral part of our NGO – PASSAGES. Our Cancer Health Programme took wings under her compassionate guidance and very personal
involvement with all patients. She was very deeply caring, yet with the strength to be fair at all times.
The void Coomi leaves behind will be almost impossible to fill, yet the strength of will and character that epitomized her very essence will show us the way to carry on our Association’s Cancer related activities in her memory now.
Coomi touched the lives of many and her warmth, dedication towards her work and positive attitude towards life will be missed and remembered forever!
To quote from one of Coomi’s poems, “I felt tranquil, at peace with the world. Love was mine, and I was special!” Yes, indeed, a very special lady!
R.I.P. Coomi; gone, but will never be forgotten, especially by her Passages’ team of Tarana, Kaya and Valerie.
Cancer Screening Camps:

In keeping with PASSAGES’ objectives of Breast Cancer awareness, preventive health measures and in celebration of International Women’s Day, our Organisation sponsored 73 Cancer screenings during the month of March (8th onwards), 2015, at the Meesha Diagnostics & Polyclinic, Jacob’s Circle, Mahalaxmi, who organized this camp. The thorough check-up included the following tests with a detailed follow up report: Breast Cancer Screening (Mammography); Cervical Cancer Screening (Pap Smear); Fasting Blood Sugar; Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor; Uric Acid Test; ESR Test and Bone Densitometry. This camp was very well appreciated by all who attended, as it was a great opportunity to get annual Medicals done at one venue.
PASSAGES also regularly sponsors the cancer health check-ups of people at screening camps organized by the Kasturi Foundation, Sion. This Foundation conducts very thorough cancer screening camps held at regular intervals and our organization has sponsored about 25 people during the past year. Kindly contact our office for details of the next camp as pre-registration with us is mandatory.
Other Cancer Awareness Drives:
  Our pamphlets and other literature propagating awareness and early detection were also distributed at the following events/venues:
The Indus International Festival of Charities, December 2014
The Breach Candy Club Charity Carnival, February 2015
The Bombay Gymkhana Charity Bazaar, June 2015
Our New Fundraising Initiatives:
Pay It Forward: The PASSAGES’ Cancer Health Programme focuses on creating awareness and dispelling myths about Breast Cancer and also financially helping underprivileged patients to complete their treatment requirements. All of our efforts are made possible through the support of our members, the generosity of our patrons and the passion and anwavering commitment of like-minded friends and individuals.

You too can make a difference by making a small monthly contribution towards the Early Detection and Screenings’ Programme initiated by PASSAGES in 2014. Last year itself, we sponsored over 100 screenings at various camps.

‘Pay It Forward’ by doing a monetary good deed and we will use it towards screening and saving a life. A mere amount of Rs. 1,000/- (Rupees One Thousand only) donated per month will help sustain our work within the lesser-privileged community by assisting with their pre- and post-surgery medical needs. We look forward to your kind support.

Contact Snehal on 022-22047823 at our office.

All Donations are exempt under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act of 1961. Cheques to be made in favour of: Passages - Association for Guidance, Education & Support.
The Mystery Box: We are happy to announce a fund-raising tie-up with The Mystery Box. You pay Rs. 2,500/- for a 6-month subscription and surprise your dear ones every month from June - Nov. The surprise gifts include great value products and complimentary service vouchers. The first gift will be received on 15th June!

Call 9820543352 or sign up at www.themysterybox.in.
Distribution of Cancer Medicines:
  Our on-going distribution of cancer medicines for chemotherapy at the Cama &Albless Hospitals is being conducted, supervised and documented every fortnight by our volunteers - Rita Advani and Snehal Salve. We, at PASSAGES, extend our appreciation for their tireless dedication to the cause. Most of these patients under our Adopt-a-Patient scheme are identified by Dr. Dilip Nikam (Head, Radiation Oncology) and his team from the Hospital; they are responding well to their medication.

Other individual, not so privileged, patients who appeal to us for aid are also benefitting from the financial assistance that we extend to them for the furtherment of their treatment. This aid is need based on their submission of original bills and is closely monitored and recorded at our office; it varies from a one-time financial aid or on-going, as per treatment requirements.
Donations in Kind:
  In keeping with PASSAGES’ objectives of women’s empowerment especially in the area of health and hygiene, donations in kind were made (in bulk) to the following Institutions during the month of October 2014.
Asha Daan – Home for the Aged (Adult Diapers)
Asha Sadan MSWC – Home for Destitute Girls (Sanitary Napkins)
PASSAGES’ Donations made during the year 2014-2015
Adopt A Patient 28 on-going patients from Cama Hospital Rs. 15,95,500.00
Appeal Patients 14 Patients Rs. 7,45,000.00
Screenings & General 100 People Rs. 1,17,600.00
‘A Morning with Gibran’ - Reported by Rashna Doongaji - February 20, 2015
PASSAGES organized ‘A Morning with Gibran’ - an interesting session with Ellaeenah who is a respected spiritual and guidance counselor. She discussed with us ‘The Prophet’ – Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece that, though first published in 1926, is equally enlightening even today. The advice and insights have been translated into several languages and Ellaeenah approached the session with wanting to help and heal all who attended.

The Prophet is a prose poetry that doesn’t have rhyme or meter or rhythm and yet is still strangely pleasing to the ears.

He talks of the duality of love, the pain, sorrow and grief and it is in the wounding of love that we grow as humans.

For marriage, the advice is to give each other space to grow individually, as love is not bondage. Keep your heart open and do not shut yourself for fear of being hurt. When you long for love and you have it accept the pains that come with it.

Love is the God presence in our life and know this, that we draw the people who will help our growth. See the gift in every situation and understand that the journey of life is one to enhance your selfawareness. Why we do what we do?

For children his perspective is unique; he gently guides us that though they come through you, they do not belong to you. You may house their bodies but not their souls; give them your love but not your thoughts for, as individuals, they have their own.
  When speaking of joy and sorrow, The Prophet wisely says that they are inseparable to whichEllaeenah added that sorrow is the outcome when you don’t understand the heart of another; grief isan emotion filled with self-pity. Take responsibility and stop blaming others.

There is no good or evil; only when we judge it is. Your thoughts have potent energy and remember the only person you can control is yourself.
Life and Death are one even as the river and sea are one.

For crime and punishment his perspective is that when you judge others know this that you, too, given the wrong set of circumstances, are capable of the same. As the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest, which is in each of you, so the wicked cannot fall lower than the lowest, which is in you, also.

So, Ellaeenah, who gave us useful insights, ably interpreted his words of wisdom on these and several other topics and a morning filled with personal growth finally drew to a close.

Thank you Kahlil Gibran ...thank you Ellaeenah.
‘Celebrating Life’ - Poetry Reading by Dr. Coomi B. Singh - April 16, 2014.
  “Life is a celebration! When we think of this great big beautiful world, we can only be humbled and awed and spellbound with wonder at the Creator of all this magnificence. I have always been a happy child and loving life comes easily to me. However, having gone through a near-death experience and an out-of-body one in 2012, I feel that my life is magical, and a reason for me to celebrate each day.” – Dr. Coomi B. Singh

During this session, Coomi shared her experiences in prose and in the language of her heart, through her poetry, reading out and interpreting poems from her new book, ‘On Wings of Fire.’

PASSAGES hosted this poetry reading session for members, well-wishers, and friends. This was followed by lunch.
Rumi’s Philosophy and its Relevance Today - by Ellaeenah - Sept. 12, 2014
  “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” - Rumi

Moulana Muhammad Jalaluddin Rumi was a famous 13th century poet, jurist, theologian and Sufi mystic. His doctrine advocated tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. To him, all religions are truth. He looked with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike. In his words, “I belong to no religion. My religion is love. Every heart is my temple.”

Rumi's philosophy is significant and relevant in modern times when personal and global challenges face us constantly.

Through Ellaeenah's reading and a modern explanation of Rumi's poetry, this very interactive audience exchanged concepts and philosophies of life seeking out answers and understanding ideologies.
‘GIFT YOUR TIME’ (Volunteer Programme)
Diwali Party hosted by PASSAGES for the children of the St. Jude’s India Childcare Centre, Bhoiwada, on October 18, 2014. The children were treated to a fun-filled afternoon, which included food, a magic show, and a photographer present took photos of the kids posing with various props. These were printed out and given to the children on the spot. We, at PASSAGES, extend our grateful appreciation to all who volunteered to be there and make the event memorable for the kids.