WHO WE ARE
Access Life Assistance Foundation, an Indian not-for-profit organisation registered as a section 8 company provides multi-disciplinary supportive care to families who come to Mumbai for their child’s cancer treatment.
It provides a loving and temporary home for children undergoing treatment for cancer along with their parents or caretakers.
Access Life set up its first center in June 2014 in Chembur and has grown to 6 childhood cancer care centres across Mumbai and Pune. Through our 5 centers we have offered a holistic support to more than 575 underprivileged children with cancer, and their families.
Families come from remote towns and cities across India seeking treatment for their children affected with cancer. While hospitals extend them quality medical services, the poorer families have no place to stay during the 5-12 months (sometimes extending to 24 months) that it takes to complete the treatment. Many end up living on footpaths or are forced to abandon treatment.
Along with a home-like environment for these families, we also address the psychological and social effects of cancer by providing practical support services, nutritional support, educational resources, safe transport to hospitals, and recreational programs.
Our philosophy stems from our core value, that high quality and holistic healthcare facilities should be available for all, regardless of their economic status.
To create an environment where children have access to quality health care and holistic support and which allows families to face the weight of illness together.
To provide all the children from the age 0-14 years coming to Mumbai for treatment of cancer, a clean, safe, comfortable, caring and cost-free accommodation, wherein their families are able to better comfort and support them, while actively participating in their care.
When we started Access Life, seven years ago, we envisioned that every needy child who comes to Mumbai to undergo treatment for cancer, would have an access to a clean, safe, comfortable, caring, and a cost-free accommodation - a home away from home for both the child and their family. In such a nurturing environment, these little ones would have another opportunity to experience childhood, the way they ought to.
Keeping this in mind, we developed a model at one location, the successful framework of which could then be replicated elsewhere. Thus, we set up the first Access Life Centre for Childhood Cancer Care at Chembur, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in June 2014. The donation of a mini-van by a generous contributor has ensured a stress-free transport to and fro from hospitals for our children.
Along with meeting their physical needs, we also addressed the psychological and social effects of cancer. Counseling, yoga, music, recreational, educational and nutritional supplementation programs, have helped in giving the parents and children, the holistic support they need to tackle this challenging disease. As we grew over the years, we added four more centres for accommodating the children and their families and have received four vehicles that help us provide transportation for the children at our centres. At present we have five centres - our Access Life Centre at Pune, began its operations in June 2021 – taking our basic capacity to 70 accommodation units that serve the needs of 210 individuals. Our 5 centres are operating at full capacity and we are looking forward to opening more. The driving force(s) behind all this are our volunteers; and our committed staff, who work selflessly.
We have also made a breakthrough by signing an MOU with TATA Hospital, where we offer nutritional counseling services to teens and young adults challenged with cancer. Our hygiene kit and personal hygiene awareness program are also being appreciated by Wadia, Sion and other hospitals.
In this journey of trying to spread happiness, we have also faced a major challenge in the form of people unwilling to let out their properties for housing young, poor cancer patients. Creating more awareness on cancer should hopefully motivate more people to open their hearts and homes to these children.
and so our Mission continues…….
– GIRISH NAIR
Founder & Chairman
Girish comes with over 15 years of rich experience in Finance Management and has worked in various industries like Aviation, Public Relations and Travel. He has been associated with several organizations, including Ethiopian Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Neucom Consulting (PR Firm), SGS Enterprises & Nexus Travel Solutions. Currently he is a partner with SGS Enterprises & is also on the board of Directors of Nexus Travel Solutions Pvt. Ltd. He was awarded the Asia-Pacific Cancer Society's Training Grant (APCASOT) for a training programme in Australia in 2016.
Ankeet has over a decade of experience in Public Relations and Communication management. He has worked for renowned PR Agencies, like Hanmer MS&L & Vaishnavi Communications and has serviced clients in the media & entertainment space as well as managed PR for celebrities. Currently he is Managing Partner, Commarchs Digital Media Llp, a limited liability partnership firm.
Preethi holds a Master's Degree in Social Work and comes with seven years of professional experience with organizations like the Family Planning Association of India, The Institute of Applied Dermatology and the Freedom Foundation. Her commitment towards the causes she has been working for namely, education of masses on HIV/Aids reflects in the remarkable role she has essayed in all her assignments.
Dr Suresh Sundar
Director, Advisory Board
Suresh is a Mumbai University topper in both, his Diploma in Public Health and his MD, Community Medicine Degree. He has trained in Primary Health Care, Rural Management and Human Resources Development at international organizations. Suresh has over three decades of teaching, public health and consultancy experience with USAID, UNICEF, Aga Khan Development Network, as well as medical colleges and national and International NGOs. Suresh is also the parent of a Hodgkins Lymphoma and Bone Marrow Transplant survivor.
Director, Advisory Board
Ms. Kala Sundarvedha holds Master of Science in Mathematics, she is qualified with a Masters in Disability Studies from Australia. She comes with over two decades of working experience in social sector across different countries. She believes that every individual has a right to equal opportunities that would enable him/her to maximize their potential. Individuals with disabilities or disadvantages have to be provided the support to ensure a level playing field..
Director, Advisory Board