FOUNDER'S STATEMENT

In August 2007, I met Samiksha and her mother at the Oncology Centre of a major hospital at Bangalore. 6-year old Samiksha bubbled with energy, constantly ran around, chatted incessantly and sang songs, all with a mask on her nose and mouth. It was difficult to believe that she had cancer.

On striking up a conversation with the mother, I learnt that all the other children sitting there suffered from different types of cancer and plasma-related diseases. None of them went to school, because of the fear of contracting infection, the treatment pattern and the behaviour of the disease itself. Their parents faced a difficult challenge looking after them constantly, entertaining them and keeping them engaged, apart from all other things that parents have to do. It was an intricate task for the caregivers, since cancer affected children at that early age are as demanding and vivacious as any other child.

The idea of an exclusive learning and activity centre for children with cancer struck me then. It would be a place that would look at boosting the happiness quotient of both the children and their concerned caregivers. Children could come here and make new friends while learning, playing, reading and participating in activities organised at the centre. They could even keep up with their studies using the learning tools and opportunities provided. Outings for children and their families could be joyous experiences while helping them connect to the environment. This could also be a place where friends, relatives could visit them, away from the hospital environment.

The Foundation is named after this 6 year old whose story inspired me to start on this mission.

Sandhya Sharad

OUR VISION

Our goal is to provide an environment of independent and assisted learning for children with cancer and their families, increasing their happiness through learning and creative activity. This can also help increase the children's self-esteem and confidence, allowing them to face the challenges of their medical condition with hope and dignity, improving the quality of life of their families, and empowering them to return to the mainstream without fear or apprehension.

Samiksha is a creative learning initiative, not a clinical mission. It is specially designed for children aged between 4 and 14 with cancer or certain non-infectious life-threatening conditions. At Samiksha, we wish to make the life of the children and their caregivers a fulfilling experience. Our team consists of creative professionals, strategic partners and skilled volunteers.

Our motto is: "The pursuit of knowledge is key to our pursuit of happiness."

AREAS OF ACTION

We have three main areas of action:

Educational Support

Some long-term survivors are educationally disadvantaged because of the loss of school time during treatment. We work to continue the children's education while they go through treatment at the hospital ward, so they can fulfil their academic potential and are able to return to the right grade level after treatment. Our teachers (both staff and volunteers) provide support for primary and secondary education according to the school curriculum, teaching younger students in groups and older students one-on-one.

Spiritual Support

We conduct activities known to be beneficial for the well-being of the children and their caregivers, such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, and creative visualisation, with the support of volunteers trained in these skills.

Support through Play and Creative Activities

We have built a dedicated play area at the hospital ward. Volunteers conduct creative activities such as art, craft, pottery, and singing, in addition to the usual educational support.

We conduct birthday parties on the last Saturday of each month, with different activities ranging from singing groups to magic shows. Every child in the ward receives a small goody bag of fun and useful things, and the children whose birthdays were within the month are given special age-appropriate gifts. These events are carefully run to be entertaining for the children and interactive without being too overwhelming or physically demanding.

THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCES

Our therapeutic alliance is a partnership between the children, their caregivers, the medical assistants and Samiksha along with its resource partners:

  • The children are engaged in age-appropriate educational, spiritual, and creative activities. 
  • Their caregivers (parents, guardians, grandparents, siblings, and other relatives) can connect with each other and learn of other ways to deal with their situation. They are encouraged to participate in all spiritual programs and also use the library. 
  • The medical assistants (nurses, assistants and volunteers) also have activities specially designed for them, or encourage the children to participate in activities at the centre whenever they can.
  • The people at Samiksha and its resource partners are at the core of this alliance, which we call the Triangle of Care.

Strategic resource partnerships along with the right infrastructure and people are the necessary approach to our mission. Our current resource partnerships include:

  • Youth for Seva, Basavangudi – resource for volunteers 
  • Cognizant Outreach Team led by Deepak Prabhu and Vijay Rajagopalan - resource for volunteers 
  • Residents of Jacaranda, Brigade Millennium, JP Nagar - resource for volunteers and sponsors 
  • Roots & Wings Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd., for cancer retreats 
  • Adverto Advertising – the brilliant brochures and theme images (corporate identity) 
  • TSK Design

The triangle of care concept has been developed by Samiksha Foundation and may not be used without our permission.

OUR TEAM

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Sandhya Sharad

Founder and Director

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Vijayalakshmi Nanjundeswaran

Trustee and Advisor to the Trust

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Manjari Bhatnagar

Director

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Meera Srivathsan

Program Coordinator

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Girish Jayaraju

Permanent Volunteer

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Ranjani Ramesh

Administrator

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Valli Narasimha

Administrator

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Akanksha Jayasheela

Volunteer - Creative Play and Activities

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Barnalee Sarkar

Program Coordinator and Special Language Teacher

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Tania Khosla

Advisor

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Rajinder Chopra

Advisor

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Anita Naolekar

Advisor

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Ravishankar Nanjundeswaran

Foundation Evangelist

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Padma Vishwanathan

Project Coordinator

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Aditya Sharad

Website Administrator

About Us

Samiksha Foundation is a Creative Learning Initiative for children with cancer and their caregivers. Since 2009, we have been running our education program at the paediatric ward of Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, with around 110 children attending at a time while they undergo treatment.

Samiksha Foundation is a registered trust under the Indian Trusts Act, 1881, document no. BNG(U)-BMH 237 2009-2010.

Donations made to the Samiksha Foundation are deductible under Section 80G(2)(a)(iv) r.w.s. 80G(5)(vi) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, with tax exemption certificate no. DIT(E)BLR/80G/5/AAJTS8922L/ITO(E)-3/Vol 2012-2013, dated 10/04/2012.

Samiksha Foundation is registered under Section 11(1) of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, with registration number 094421719.

TRUST DOCUMENTS

  • Registration Certificate
  • 12A Certificate
  • 80G Certificate
  • FCRA Certificate