Documenting the experiences
of people living with NCDs

NCD Diaries
NCD Diaries
Lived experience of Type 1 diabetes
NCD Diaries
Lived experience of cancer and autoimmune disorder
NCD Diaries

Documenting the experiences
of people living with NCDs

Nupur Lalvani
Lived experience of sickle cell disease
Joshua Makubu
Diana Gittens
NCD Diaries
Christopher Agbega

Documenting the experiences
of people living with NCDs

NCD Diaries
NCD Diaries
Lived experience of Type 1 diabetes
NCD Diaries
Lived experience of cancer and autoimmune disorder
NCD Diaries

Documenting the experiences
of people living with NCDs

Nupur Lalvani
Lived experience of sickle cell disease
Joshua Makubu
Diana Gittens
NCD Diaries
Christopher Agbega

My name is Nupur Lalvani, I have been living with type 1 diabetes for the last 25 years and I’m from India.

I run a non-profit organisation called the Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation, which works in diabetes awareness and advocacy and is also the largest community-led support group for people living with all types of diabetes in India and we are a member of the Healthy India Alliance. This photo essay represents my thoughts woven around the four pillars of the Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs, i.e.: Human rights and social justice; Prevention; Treatment, care and support; and Meaningful involvement.

I choose to make a little difference

November 2020

As a woman in a developing country, growing up with type 1 diabetes is a lot like walking the tightrope in circus clothes under the spotlight your entire life. Much like the photo, there are obvious cracks in our society and health system and gaping holes where there should be support and communities to ease the transition from a diagnosis into the new normal. The blue circle is considered the international symbol for diabetes and at Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation we endeavour to loop everyone into our circle of support and care. A character from a sci-fi series said, and I quote, “Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world. The disarray. I choose to see the beauty.” And may I add, I choose to make a little difference.

Picture of a blue-toned flower found on the ground during a rainy evening walk inside my building, November 2020
Picture of a blue-toned flower found on the ground during a rainy evening walk inside my building, November 2020

 

March 2020

Two years into our community 5km runs, I never imagined a month without a gathering of friends from our local diabetes communities across our various chapters. It’s been over eight months now since we’ve met or jogged together. I realise the importance of community camaraderie for myself and others like me.

Photo from a run that was organised as a collaboration between our non-profit Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation and Chellaram Hospital’s International Diabetes Summit in March 2020.
Photo from a run that was organised as a collaboration between our non-profit Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation and Chellaram Hospital’s International Diabetes Summit in March 2020. Photo credit: Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation’s Facebook page.

 

March 2020

“Leave no one behind.” Everyone, including all marginalised groups deserve the right to health and a life of dignity, without stigma and loneliness. Loss of life due to a fractured public health system is absolutely unacceptable. People living with NCDs deserve humanity and access to affordable treatment, support and care to manage their conditions irrespective of race, caste, class, poverty etc. – An absence of these basics creates an insurmountable mental burden in addition to a chronic physical illness. Diabetes care, complications and depression are all closely linked. The Buddy Project Helpline at our NGO is an app-based, community led, multilingual peer support system for people living with diabetes and their caregivers.

Photo of a 40iu syringe used to inject insulin found in the gravel with dried bougainvillea, March 2020 at Bandra, Mumbai, India
Photo of a 40iu syringe used to inject insulin found in the gravel with dried bougainvillea, March 2020 at Bandra, Mumbai, India

 

September 2018

One of our goals as people living with NCDs (and generally as human beings) is not just to survive but also thrive, bloom and be the best versions of ourselves. With right and affordable treatment, care and support we can lead dignified lives and contribute to society. People living with NCDs deserve to be heard and must be involved in more than just tokenistic activities. Lived experiences and the voices of people living with NCDs need to be woven into policymaking and implementation. Over 77 million people in India live with various forms of diabetes and deserve a voice.

Photo of coloured lancets/needles with wild flowers used in lancing devices in glucometers to draw blood, September 2018
Photo of coloured lancets/needles with wild flowers used in lancing devices in glucometers to draw blood, September 2018

 

November 2020

The right to health is a human right, especially relevant in the conversation around NCDs. Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

Photo from a sombre lockdown Divali in November 2020 spent in reflection and solitude without friends and family.
Photo from a sombre lockdown Divali in November 2020 spent in reflection and solitude without friends and family.

 

NCD Diaries


With right and affordable treatment, care and support we can lead dignified lives and contribute to society. People living with NCDs deserve to be heard and must be involved in more than just tokenistic activities.

Nupur Lalvani, living with Type 1 diabetes

Sample NCD diaries

Visual Diary icon Nupur Lalvani

I choose to make a little difference

Podcast Diary icon Chris K. Agbega

How I lost and found my strength

Written Diary icon Diana Gittens

The sting of the stigma

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Visual Diary icon Nupur Lalvani

I choose to make a little difference

Podcast Diary icon Chris K. Agbega

How I lost and found my strength

Written Diary icon Diana Gittens

The sting of the stigma