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Donor Stories
Although our donors are all special people who have concern for others and have put that concern into action, sometimes there are special circumstances related to a particular donor or a particular donation, which we feel are inspiring food for thought. These are their stories.

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, July 10th, 2017
Artist Sarbani Sen Donates Six Oil Paintings
Internationally renowned artist Sarbani Sen from Bengal, India donated six of her oil paintings to the hospice this week.

The paintings will be on permanent display at the new hospice building for the enjoyment of all who visit. From scenic landscapes to Rajasthani dancers, these paintings will surely enliven the hospice environs with joy, beauty and peace. 

 

One shaft of light
One shaft of light
Dancing in the dunes
Dancing in the dunes

Sarbani’s work glorifies the artistry of nature and explores the relationship of humanity and the environment. Through the process of artistic creation, she seems to become one with her subject matter and to reveal the common, transcendental divinity in the seer and the seen. The resultant paintings delight the heart and uplift the spirit. Since 1981 her work has graced the walls of galleries and homes across the globe.

GPH is honored to received this generous gift for the new facility. Many thanks to Sarbani for sharing her vision of beauty with hospice residents, guests and staff for years to come.

 

Hidden Heroes: Pete and Margot

Pete and Margot are regular donors to Ganga Prem Hospice. They are enthusiastic about helping in any way they can. Margot scans the web for new ideas on fundraising and Pete spends a great deal of his spare time having fundraising brainwaves and writing to potential donors about the Hospice in his own innovative style. So what's so special about them? Well, Margot has advanced multiple sclerosis (MS) and is paralysed from her neck down, and Pete, her husband and only carer, looks after her 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 
     
They live very carefully on Margot's disability pension. "But," says Pete, "we have a rich life. Our precept has been: 'Don't mope about what you can't do but apply yourself to what you might be able to do with perseverance.'" Since they met 9 years ago at a Zen Buddhist retreat Pete and Margot have filled their days with writing, painting, discussing life, looking inwards, enjoying life and seeing what they can do to help others.
Pete and Margot
 
     

About Ganga Prem Hospice, Pete writes, " saw immediately the huge potential for good that these people were dreaming up. Not only the compassionate care of poor people who would otherwise die in agony and isolation—as if that's not enough—but the future potential to become a centre of excellence in the North of India as the excellent centre in Kerala is for the South. Our dream is that in a few years doctors and nurses from all over India will come to Ganga Prem as training interns!

"Our small involvement with GPH has been an extraordinary journey challenging us to look at what big words like 'generosity' can mean in practice and really just how true it is that 'it's in the giving that we receive.'

"It is painful for us to realise that being 'spiritual' was so easily seen in the past as being about us, and being 'special,' at the centre of the universe...
We now see that just how we transform the "good words" and pious intentions into small compassionate acts is what counts. All the rest is just the little ego telling its tales... Puffing away...

 
     
Margot anxiously awaiting an operation as treatment
"My travels through India studying close-up the 'Indian economic miracle' left me with a lot to reflect on. Whilst we now have a growing number of billionaires and a comfortable middle-class... life in the villages and for little Kartik (who sadly died at the age of four, supported by GPH) remains much as it ever did with no basic medicines or pain relief...  
     

"This week Margot took delivery of a new laser controlled computer that lets her type using the pupils of her eyes. She has advanced MS and is paralysed from the neck down. Despite that she continues to write her novel and has written over 61,000 words! This will enable her to continue and we are so very grateful for this.

"It is about counting our blessings and looking at how we can share the little we have with Kartik and his family and all of our other brothers and sisters around the world (and around the corner)."

 
     

Margot adds, "We would like everyone who visits the GPH website and is impressed by the wonderful work they are doing to take a few silent moments to reflect on what you can do to make this dream a reality.

"And may you find in the giving all the joy and satisfaction that we did."

You can read more about Pete and Margot's journey with MS on their blog.

Margot taking pleasure in a butterfly that has landed on her hand.
 
     

Update (December 2013): Margot has written a novel with her laser eye scanner.

Margot Kenter who, with her partner Pete Sketchley, is a staunch supporter of Ganga Prem Hospice, has written a novel with her laser eye scanner. The book is now on sale in Holland and €10 from the sale of each book automatically goes to Ganga Prem Hospice. You can support Margot's stupendous effort and GPH by buying her book.

 
     

The book Margot is holding in her hands is the product of over 100,000 hours of dogged graft often typed at less than 100 words per day. Being who she is, Margot makes light of this, insisting that Maria's journey—Maria is the novel's protagonist—stands or falls to the extent that it casts light and shadow over the reader's own journey through life.


Says Margot:

Margot and her book, de HOORNDRAGSTER
 
     

"I do want to thank everyone in the Netherlands for the solidarity that gave me both my invalidity pension and my laser eye scanner that I use to type with. My wish is that you and your loved ones will never need this kind of solidarity, but that it will be available if you ever do, for the alternative is a bleak life.

"That is why we, in our small way, are committed to trying to support Ganga Prem. €10 out of the price of my book goes direct to GPH and my goal is to sell (AT LEAST) 1,000 copies of the book, which would be €10,000, and which, as my partner Pete likes to say, is a lot better than a slap in the eye with a wet fish."

...

From de HOORNDRAGSTER:

When, on his death bed, Herman unburdens his soul to his wife of 30 years, Maria is devastated. In a brief moment, the integrity of the life she thought they had shared together is turned on its head. For whatever comfort his confession might have afforded Herman, she is left with angry words that sit in her mouth like a hot potato she can neither swallow nor spit out. It is one of the great themes of many lives – how to confront devastating loss and treachery in a way that ultimately permits healing and letting go, and, perhaps… perhaps, the possibility of moving on?

Out of this crucible of fire Maria sets forth on her journey to fathom what she might salvage from the wreckage of her life, but also to better understand just who this Maria was, who drifted blindly into a shipwreck on the rocks of disaster.

Her journey is powered by two conflicting motors – on the one hand, 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned', and on the other, 'Hatred is never healed by more hatred, but only by love and forgiveness'. As she sets out on her path she sees it is a journey with no destination… But, in Amsterdam - that constellation of dozens of small villages - paths inevitably cross and twine together…

...

The novel is written in Dutch. If any supporters from Holland wish to help promote it, please contact Margot through Ganga Prem Hospice at info@gangapremhospice.org.

 
 


 

Fragrant Flowers from a Stately Home

Viscountess Caroline Windsor supports Ganga Prem Hospice in an innovative way that brings pleasure to everyone involved. She grows flowers in the famous walled garden at her stately home near Ludlow, Shropshire and sells them outside the Ludlow Food Centre which was set up in 2007 by the Windsors and is attractively located in the Estate grounds. All the proceeds for one year were donated to Ganga Prem Hospice.

 
     
The Earl of Plymouth's Oakly Park Estate at Bromfield extends to some eight thousand acres and is situated just north of Ludlow. A royal forest in past times, Oakly Park was purchased by Clive of India in the second half of the 18th century and was his favourate place of residence in England. The property has remained in the family through six generations since that time.
Lady Caroline and her flower garden
 
     

Lady Caroline is married to Viscount Ivor Edward Windsor, the son and direct heir to the present Earl of Plymouth. The family's connection to India is well known and Lady Caroline's only daughter among her four children is, not surprisingly, named India. However the connection is more than a matter of history. Lady Caroline's spiritual interests often bring her to Rishikesh where she is a devotee at Shivananda Ashram. On one such visit, she spent time at Nani Ma's ashram near Uttarkashi and became interested in supporting Ganga Prem Hospice.

Lady Caroline says, "It brings me such joy to grow these flowers, watch them blossom and then pick them, thinking all the while of the work that Ganga Prem Hospice does… the patients, the voluntary helpers, the doctors, nurses and drivers.

 
     
Picking flowers for Ganga Prem Hospice
"It brings me closer to them and to God. I arrange the flowers into bunches in jam jars, filling old wooden wine boxes placed on a coffee sack on an old wheel barrow outside the Ludlow Food Centre. "It creates a beautiful energy and I feel that this is also a beautiful way of sharing the flowers with others. Total 'win' situation."  
     

Lady Caroline donates the proceeds from selling the flowers to Ganga Prem Hospice along with other money that she raises by arranging cut flowers at society weddings. The fragrance of the flowers from the old walled garden in Shropshire, mingled with Lady Caroline's compassion and love for India, surely wafts across the world and helps to alleviate the pain and suffering of the poor cancer patients of Ganga Prem Hospice in the Himalayan foothills.

She still donates the royalties from her granola and 'Rich Seville Orange Marmalade,' which has won the World Gold Medal for marmalade this year and is on sale at Fortrum and Masons in London.

 
 
 
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