My internship in Process work with Sumedhas Academy for Human context has significantly shaped my journey as a person. One of the meta labs, Learning Theater compelled me to think about my purpose, my dharma.
A few years ago, having spent many years in a typical corporate life, I was struggling for a sense of purpose and meaning for my life. A colleague and friend mentioned to me, that it is believed that one can find ones calling if one meditates under the full moon of Buddha Purnima. That experience, a deep impact of Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture, and my explorations with Sumedhas led me to the realization that in order to live my purpose, I may need to pursue more than one passion. So, I decided to listen to my heart, pursue my passion for motorcycle riding, build my consulting practice, set up a social venture and pursue my hobbies.
In 1999, when I had lost my father to a rare neurological condition called Shy-drager Syndrome (a condition similar to Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson's), I wanted to honour his memory by doing something in the area. In the years of his illness, internet was in its infancy and information was not easily accessible. Over time, as I tried to figure what I would like to do, I realized that increasingly, enough and more was being done for the patients of these medical conditions. However, the caregivers who are a common denominator across many similar conditions and are perhaps the most under-recognized and under-served, especially in our country. I also realized that in fact, my real life experience had been that of being a caregiver to my mother, who was the primary caregiver. My research over the last nearly 8+ years has convinced me that the wellbeing of the caregiver is pivotal to the well-being and healing of the patient. The fact that we are living in increasingly fragmenting family and community systems, especially in urban India, caregiving is becoming a ballooning challenge.
At a personal level, I believe that building a sustainable organization that recognizes Caregiving will not just be my way of honouring the memory of my father, but also the legacy of my grandmother and mother who have been exceptional caregivers to many.
This mission calls out to me as my dharma, my purpose.
~ Bhavana Issar
Founder & CEO, Caregiver Saathi™