WELWYN Garden City based international development charity, Carers Worldwide, celebrated Carers Day 2023 across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Unlike in this country, there is no formal day or week of recognition for unpaid carers in South Asia. So, for the second year, the charity, run by husband-and-wife team Anil & Ruth Patil, held their own day of recognition.
More than 12,000 carers, their loved ones and other stakeholders participated in the celebrations across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. They came together to advocate for the role of carers to be recognised and for carers to be supported.
Carers Worldwide’s mission is to achieve recognition of the role of unpaid family carers in India, Nepal and Bangladesh and to transform the lives of carers, their families and their communities through their Carers Worldwide Model. They were inspired to set up the charity based on their work in the villages of India and seeing first-hand the stigma and hardship facing carers of people with disabilities and mental illness. When they became carers themselves for their daughter with Downs’ Syndrome, they knew they wanted to do something to transform the lives of these unpaid carers.
Carers Day was a special day dedicated to the invisible army of unpaid family carers who provide love and support to those in need. A day to express appreciation and recognise the vital role these unsung heroes play in caring for their loved ones.
This year’s theme for Carers Day was ‘Let’s Recognise and Support Carers’. It encouraged people to take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the tireless efforts of carers and to explore ways in which they can be offered tangible support. This might include offering emotional support, providing respite care, or advocating for policies that enhance carers’ well-being. Recognising and supporting carers is key to creating a more inclusive society.
Anil Patil, founder and executive director, carers worldwide said:
“This was truly a historic and momentous day for unpaid carers in South Asia. I am so proud of all our partner organisations for putting together these programmes of events, highlighting the issues faced and calling for recognition and support for carers. Together we will make a difference!”
Across all three countries, Carers Worldwide’s local charity partner organisations and the carers they support, held rallies and events to mark the day. They also signed the Carers Worldwide Carers Charter and submitted it to government representatives, seeking recognition and support for carers.
In India, as well as Carers Day being celebrated by Carers Worldwide’s 12 local charity partners, the Government of Karnataka in South India also celebrated Carers Day as an official day across the state. This meant that additional carers, their supporters and government rehabilitation workers participated in Carers Day, helping to reach more people and raise awareness in new communities.
Carers Day was celebrated across the region with enthusiasm and gratitude, and unpaid carers and their families left feeling empowered and inspired.
Kamatchi, a carer from India said:
“Parents who are taking care of children with a disability, we are all coming together to show our solidarity. That made us very happy.”