Cancer survivors during the ramp walk at PGGGC in Sector 42, Chandigarh, on Saturday. (Express)
Written by Sheema Zehra
IT WAS an evening full of inspiration. There was singing, dancing and laughter as cancer survivors joined hands under the aegis of Sahayta, an NGO, to celebrate Cancer Survivors’ Day and International Childhood Cancer Day at the Post Graduate Government Girls College, Sector 42, on Saturday.
The lamp lighting ceremony was conducted by chief guest Raja Malvinder Singh along with Gayatri M M Singh, Beenu Dosra, Renu Sharma and Rashmi Bindra, cancer survivors. Following this, a group of children suffering from cancer staged a dance performance titled ‘Taare Zameen Par’, bringing a smile to the faces of many. This was followed by a ramp walk.
This was followed by a ramp walk by a group of feisty women, whose winning smiles and elegant saaris in vivid hues reflected their bravery.
Dr Mini Arora, a doctor from PGI who has been working with Sahayta for over 19 years, explained the importance of cancer awareness and palliative care. “According to WHO, one out of every 15 patients dies of cancer. Three million people are suffering from cancer and 80 per cent report to the doctors only when their disease is at an advanced stage.’’
While stressing on the importance of an early diagnosis of the disease, she applauded Sahayta for raising awareness about the disease and helping cancer patients at PGIMER and GMCH, Sector 32.
Since May 23, 1997 Sahayta has been working for the welfare of cancer patients while conducting No Tobacco campaigns, cancer awareness projects, the Vidya Jyoti project and the Sahayta Bal Cancer Sahyog. Last year in October, Sahayta also carried out a Pink October campaign in collaboration with a publication house, to spread positivity about cancer patients.
“We never know when we hear news that breaks us down and to rise we need a support system. I thank Sahayta for supporting me through the whole struggle and now I do the same for kids in hospitals,” said Pranav Agarwal, a cancer survivor, while motivating others to never quit. Pranav, along with Babita, another cancer survivor, were awarded with Jeewan Shakti Award.
The function concluded with people taking the pledge of, ‘Hum Honge Kamyaab’.