Exhibition at Taj Mahal on Childhood Cancer

Exhibition at Taj Mahal on Childhood Cancer


Azhar Umri| UPUKLive
Agra : CanKids..Kidscan, National Society for Change for Childhood Cancer in India, the largest non profit and support organisation providing holistic care and healing touch to thousands of children with Cancer in India, is organizing the first ever cause related exhibition at the Taj Mahal, Agra. The exhibition is a part of the Go Gold India – Taj Goes Gold & UP Goes Gold campaign, which is a childhood cancer survivor led campaign.

Henk Bekedam the WHO Representative to India was quite impressed when he met CanKIds Chairman Poonam Bagai and childhood cancer survivors and said “They are not only raising awareness for survival and treatment of cancer patients, especially children, but also they are supporting families and the children. The scene from them is tremendous. They are already reaching out to 1/3rd of the cancer patients, children in India.”

The most important element of the campaign is the exhibition at the Taj Mahal and Chalo Chalein Taj programme under which 1,500 children with cancer, survivors and families will visit the Taj Mahal for this exhibition. CanKids will be taking these children as part of their Patient & Family Engagement – Social Mobilization & Social advocacy Taj Goes Gold Fiesta & Chalo Chalien Taj campaign from September 25th to 27th September, 2016. UP CM Akhislesh Yadav has also supported the campaign and tweeted “UP to Go Gold with CanKids”.

The other important element of the campaign is the collection of 2,50,000 signatures by the survivors, one for each child diagnosed with cancer worldwide. Through the campaign the survivors want to advocate to central and state government that childhood cancer should be a child health priority in India. These signatures will later be presented to the Prime Minister of India.
The exhibition inaugurated in presence of children with cancer, survivors, families, Dr. Sadhna Bhagwat NPO (NCD) from WHO and Dr. Bhuvan Vikram Superintending Archaeologist, ASI Agra Circle. Also Mr Gaurav Daya DM Agra, Ajay Yadav vice chairman Agra Development Authority and Dr  Kishor Panjwani president Indian association of paediatric surgery.  Speaking at the ceremony DM Agra Gourav Dayal Said "its really appreciated the cankids initiative and we thanks to the organization for this novel cause. The UP Govt is opening centre for cancer in Sultanpur Road at Lucknow where the paediatric department would be on the priority."

A formal programme and inauguration of the exhibition will be organized at The Gateway hotel at 3.00 pm which will includes a nukkad natak by childhood cancer survivors, a performance by survivors from Mumbai (Ugam), We are One song which was composed to raise awareness about childhood cancer worldwide. Messages by Dr, Henk (Henk Bekedam the WHO Representative to India), Carmen Auste (Global Chair, CCI), Mr. Arun Kumar Panda (Addl Secretary, Ministry of Health & FW), Dr. MC Misra (Director – AIIMS) and more and speeches by dignitaries and important people from across the world to support our campaign will be shown at the function. The event was also supported by people from Aditya Birla Financial Services and Cipla. Round Table India, Agra and Ladies Circle, Agra have been working with Cankids to make the campaign successful
September is Childhood cancer awareness month, and the Gold ribbon and Gold light are the symbols representing the World’s youngest cancer patients. They honour the bravery & courage of children with cancer & their families. The survivors wanted the Taj Mahal to Gold this September but due to a Supreme Court order The Taj Mahal cannot be lit up gold. But ASI Agra has very generously agreed to a Taj Goes Gold for Childhood Cancer Exhibition within the Taj Mahal complex from25th – 27th September.
Carmen Auste, Global Chair of Childhood Cancer International said “I thank the Government of India in making possible this memorable occasion. The Taj Mahal is the greatest monument of love -- symbol of a love that even death could not weaken. It is most fitting that in this month of Childhood Cancer Awareness; we all come together with these children with cancer, the survivors and their families.”
CanKids and survivors are trying to make a difference in paediatric cancer in India through their advocacy efforts and the result of such efforts was the formation of Task Force in Uttar Pradesh by Anup Chandra Pandey (IAS, Commissioner, Lucknow and Principal Secretary (Medical Education), which will be working to bring a change for childhood cancer in UP. It will be instrumental in the formation of childhood cancer control plan and programme.
A task force on the same line will also be formulated at the central level in November, which will work closely with all sections including, hospitals, NGO’s and other stakeholders for change for Childhood Cancer in India. Mr. Arun Kumar Panda (Addl Secretary, Ministry of Health & FW), Government of India said” We have to cover a long distance and win this war. Childhood Cancer will be a child health priority in India.”

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