Kamali’s Helping Hand!!!

Having seen suffering first hand and losing his wife to cancer, Syed Zameeruddin Kamali today volunteers at Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Bangalore, guiding and helping patients both morally and monetarily.

(By Nigar & Dolcy)

Having seen suffering first hand and losing his wife to cancer, Syed Zameeruddin Kamali today volunteers at Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Bangalore, guiding and helping patients both morally and monetarily.
Syed Zameeruddin Kamali is an epitome of modesty. This humble man is very happy not being written about, and people like him are unsung heroes and a source of inspiration to humanity at large.
Bangalore-based Kamali and his wife Shama were the ideal made-for-each-other couple. Kamali had his own business, while Shama was a home maker and unfortunately a cancer patient. In 1997, clouds of discomfort surrounded their peaceful life when Shama began feeling unwell and had to see doctors, who initially thought her symptoms were just hormonal disorders.
Back then, people hesitated to talk about cancer. Shama was taken to a local hospital, but later as friends suggested, detailed investigations were performed, and that is when the family met Dr. B.S. Srinath, Surgical oncologist and Managing director of Bangalore Institute of Oncology, now the Managing Trustee and Head of the institution of Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre. After investigations, Shama was diagnosed with breast cancer and the treatment began, from Surgery to Chemotherapy and Radiation. The immense moral and medical support from Dr. B.S. Srinath, Dr. Sanjiv Sharma, Dr. Shekar Patil and Dr. Karthik and S. Rishi, helped the family to go through this traumatic phase. As Kamali recalls, this gave him a big lesson that more than medicines, a cancer patient needs moral and emotional support from all quarters.
As Kamali puts forth, Shama did not lose hope but in fact she turned into a counsellor for fellow cancer patients, guiding patients at Kidwai Hospital, St. John’s Hospital and Bangalore Institute of Oncology hospital. In 2005, Shama and Kamali joined some other likeminded cancer survivors and founded an NGO, “Cancer Information Centre” (CIC) to help cancer patients and also create awareness about cancer in the society. This inspired Kamali, and he joined Shama in 2007, volunteering in Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital, talking to patients, lending them emotional and moral support. While Shama lost the battle to cancer on April 25th 2011, Kamali continued to keep her spirit alive by keeping up his regular volunteering work in Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital.
Today, Kamali is the ‘Go-To’ person in Shankara Hospital, a friendly and familiar guide to patients who need assistance and guidance. He can be spotted everyday from 3.00pm to 6.00pm interacting with patients in the hospital, giving them step by step directions, co-ordinating between different departments and patiently listening to problems and complaints, especially the poorer patients arriving from rural areas for treatment. In addition, he handles the security arrangements and house-keeping at the hospital, apart from taking care of the pantry management.
The ethos of Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital & Research Centre is all about giving state-of the art treatment to all at an affordable cost. It is a joint venture of Sri Shankara Cancer Foundation and Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham Charitable Trust of Sringeri. This hospital is located in the heart of Bangalore. It provides expertise in all super-specialities of cancer and has many highly qualified and dedicated doctors as consultants. What makes this hospital stand out is its very humanitarian approach towards all patients. In fact, here the doctors have a golden heart. When they realise that any patient is in his or her terminal stage, their treatment of the patient in their last stages is very humane. The patient and the family is not only made to feel comfortable emotionally, but the full team at Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre ensure that with minimum expenses on the treatment, the family can manage their life ahead without becoming financially bankrupt. Not only is the terminal patient treated well with full dignity, even the family is counselled to handle the end stage of their family member with grace and peace. A large chunk of patients who come here for treatment have travelled miles from their villages and are economically poor. At Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital, they experience kindness and generosity extended by the doctors and the staff team.
Kamali shares this same ethos of helping the poor and leading a meaningful life by being useful to others in need. “I have seen suffering first hand. I have seen how a cancer patient needs so much support from family and friends and the society. I was extremely lucky that my dear friend Mr. S.G. Chaturvedi stood by me like a rock, lending me the much needed moral and emotional support during the traumatic times when I had to face the reality of Shama’s cancer. He kept me in positive mode always and was instrumental in helping me to stay brave and carry on my role as Shama’s caregiver courageously. I feel that whenever any member in the family suffering from cancer, the first and most important thing is to have a family friend to whom you can confide your fears and worries and also who will stand by you like a rock of support. I am grateful to God for sending Mr. Chaturvedi as the light at the end of the tunnel during the tough times” recalls Mr. Kamali emotionally.
“After having lost my wife to cancer, I understand what so many others must be going through. So, by being around in Shankara Cancer Hospital volunteering time for the patients, I feel I can be of some use to humanity”, he says. “Also, I want people to spread awareness that cancer is not contagious and that early detection is very important. But staying positive and talking to patients, I try in my own way to tell them that cancer is not the end of the world. It can be managed with support from society, apart from medical treatment. Volunteering is a very important good deed which everybody should do”, says Kamali. He says that he is ever grateful to Dr. B.S. Srinath and the Hospital for giving him an opportunity to serve humanity.
59 year-old Kamali is an inspiration to others who can use their time and knowledge to help people in need. His selfless efforts to make patients feel comfortable, saving them the trouble from running pillar to post, is nothing less than service to God!
(Mr. Syed Zameeruddin Kamali can be reached at:
Venue: Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital & Research Centre located at 1st Cross, Shankarapuram, Shankar Mutt Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore – 560004.
Time: Between 3.00pm to 6.00pm Email id: Kamali­[email protected]
Contact Details: 080-26981130 / 080-26981000 / 080-46484401)

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