Sunday, September 16th 2012, the city woke up to the bustling energy of its people who walked with zeal to create awareness about dementia and to express solidarity with persons with dementia and their families. The Memory Walk was organized on the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Month, by Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) Hyderabad Deccan Chapter, Memory Clinic at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Asha Hospitals and Yashoda Hospitals. The large gathering of more than 500 people reflected a sense of responsibility in the Hyderabadi’s quest to make their city a dementia friendly one.
The event commenced with the welcome address by Dr. Suvarna Alladi, Addition Professor, Dept. of Neurology, NIMS and the President of ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter. Dr. Suvarna Alladi introduced the chief guest, The Honorable Chief Mayor Mohammed Majid Hussain and other dignitaries, including the GHMC Commissioner Mr. Krishna Babu, NIMS Director Dr. Dharma Rakshak, were present at the event. She said that the Memory Walk was a part of a worldwide endeavour to create awareness and increase the support for dementia. Explaining about the disease she said that dementia is a progressive disease of the brain which causes impairment and eventual loss of memory, language and the ability to function normally. She said that although there is no cure for dementia, treatment includes medical and non-pharmacological interventions to improve quality of life of patient.
Mrs. Rukhsana Ansari, Gen Secretary ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan, in her address thanked the large gathering of participants. While stating that the estimated numbers of persons with dementia is around 30,000, she highlighted the importance of the Dementia India document which provides information on prevalence of the disease in India, challenges faced in dementia care and ways forward t tackle those challenges. She requested the Honourable chief guest Mayor Mr. Mohammed Majid Hussain to release the Telugu version of the Dementia India Report 2010, translated by ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter. ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan Chapter was one of the major contributors in the compilation of the Dementia India Report 2010 originally published in English.
Speaking on the occasion, the Mayor said that there should be a collaborative effort between the Government, Non Governmental Organizations and hospitals in creating awareness about dementia, providing better services and support to those affected by it. He expressed the reason for participating in this walk was because it was a “peoples walk” and as a display of his deference of the elderly. He appealed to all to continue to support ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan in its endeavors.
The GHMC Commissioner, Mr. Krishna Babu who also spoke on the occasion said that such events and awareness programs are essential for creating awareness because most people do not even know about dementia and its implications to the patients, their families and caregivers.
The director of Nizam’s Institute of Medical Science, Dr. A. Dharma Rakshak and the chairman of Asha Hospitals, Dr. K. Chandrasekhar, who is also the vice-president of ARDSI Hyderabad Deccan, were also present at the event expressing their solidarity and support for the cause.
The voluntary support and help rendered by the various organizations and individuals to make the Memory Walk a success was appreciated. The miscellaneous activities that go into conducting an event of this nature were all exceptionally handled by the volunteers, staff and other agencies.
The walk which commenced at 7:45 AM from Jalavihar proceeded through People’s Plaza and completed the circuit by coming back to Jalavihar. As the walkers relaxed and watched the scenic beauty of Hussain Sagar, they were served with a good spread of breakfast which was sponsored by the family of late Mr. Vedula Narasimha Murthy and Pelican Rubber Private Limited.
ls follow the links below to see the Memory walk pictures and Media coverage
Media coverage: http://www.ardsihyd.org/events/2012/sept_wad_media.html