THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The RCC hall was decked up in the Christmas colours of red, green and cream. Big red satin bows, socks for Santa in checked red and green, the predominantly red and green Christmas tree, even the floral arrangement on the stage had a Christmas theme to it with flowers of red and cream set against a backdrop of lush green leaves.
The only diversion to the colour setting were the multihued balloons.
But it took the Chief Minister’s wife Mariamma Oommen Chandy to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Her innocent request for a smile from everyone was what broke the ice and brought cheer all around. The occasion was the Christmas and New Year celebrations of the city-based organisation Ashraya, comprising a group of women providing care, support and rehabilitation to cancer patients and their families who approach the RCC.
Inaugurating the meet, Social Welfare Minister M K Muneer said that no one would feel alone and orphaned if people such as the members of Ashraya would give care to the patients.
RCC director Dr Paul Sebastian pointed out that what was special about the members of Ashraya was the quality time that they gave to the RCC patients, especially children.
‘’Most mothers have to spend months together at the hospital with their sick children. They have to stay away from their homes and relatives. These caretakers are given a rest when Ashraya members come and engage the children in activities,’’ said Dr Paul Sebastian.
While Mariamma Oommen Chandy, M K Muneer, Ashraya president Shanta Jose and J Lalithambika IAS distributed gifts to the children taking treatment at RCC, other members of the Ashraya and the big Santa Claus were seen distributing sweets to everyone around. To add to the merriment was the Christmas carol Jingle Bells.
But what would have been the most motivational to the mothers and the children was the dance performance by Vandana, who was born without a leg.