Tuesday, December 07, 2010

ONE HOPE FOR ALL!





This is my first article for a Cafe lifestyle magazine in Chennai called 'Frappe'..Read on!


A gentle breeze swept the second longest beach in the world. Hundreds of people walked with passion in their hearts to show their support for spreading awareness on breast cancer.
One Walk One Hope 2010, a walk to bring about awareness on breast cancer was organised by CAN STOP (Cancer Support Therapy to Overcome Pain), an NGO working in aid of cancer patients. The walk was flagged off by S. V. Sekar, renowned actor, theatre artist and MLA of Mylapore constituency, V.K.Subburaj , Principal Secretary, State Department of Health and Family Welfare. Actress Khushboo, Mr. Guna, President, Rotary Club of Madras and a representative of the US Consulate also attended the event. It started off on a musical note as traditional drummers who participated in the Chennai Sangamam, performed a dance with their drum beats resonating through the grounds.
Mr Subbaraj said, “India is a country that is burdened with diseases. There are over 1 million people detected with cancer and 2 million people who are in need of diagnosis every year in our country.”
Stressing on Women’s health, he said, “The two most important types of cancer, affecting women are cervical and breast cancer. Over 1 lakh women have breast cancer in India. Women discover that they have breast cancer only when the cancer has progressed to the third or fourth stage. If identified at the very first stage, it can be cured.”
Mr. S.V. Sekar said, “From next year onwards, I will get special permission to conduct the walk through residential areas and the slums so that the awareness is spread on a larger scale. I am ready to participate every year for this cause.”
Actress Khushboo, clad in a t-shirt that read the slogan “one walk, one hope” designed by Thota Tharani said, “It is a pleasure and honour for me to be associated with this event. Educated women believe that they lead a healthy lifestyle and hence won’t be inflicted by the disease, but this is a wrong notion. The first sign of cancer is when you don’t experience any hunger pangs and have severe stomach pains, but you shouldn’t always rely on the signs. Go and get yourselves checked!”
“We all are here to support; not only to give financial support but also to provide moral support for cancer patients. Our motto should be ‘We will stop cancer, and not can stop. It is also so wonderful to see so many youngsters gathered at this event. Anything for women, and you can count me in!” she signed off.
CAN STOP which organised the event is a Centre for counseling for cancer-affected patients, their relatives. Its main goal is to help people learn about cancer and cancer related problems. T-shirts and merchandise designed specially by famous Art Designer Thotta Tharani was put up in pink stalls for sale to raise funds for cancer patients.
Ms. Naina, President of Soroptimist International of Chennai Downtown, a branch of Soroptimist International, a worldwide organization for women in management and professions, gave out mementos to the dignitaries who attended the event.
Over 50 students from Lady Andal School attended the event, with every student sporting white or pink t-shirts (which was the dress code for the walk), holding placards and shouting slogans. Trishanka Menon, a student of the school said, “I always show my support for such initiatives, because only the youth have the power to bring about change in our society.”
This was the second edition of the walk, organised to mark the National Breast Cancer Awareness month or ‘Pink’ month of October. The walk started in the Lady Wellingdon College grounds, went up to the Labour statue and winded up at the college grounds.
Cancer is one draconian disease for which a definite cure has not yet been found. Millions die every year due to cancer. Of the incidences of breast cancer among women in the city, 22.4% have breast cancer, according to a recent study by the Indian Council of Medical Research. With such walks being organised at regular intervals to spread awareness, the light at the end of the tunnel will get brighter for cancer patients in our country.

By Manasa K Kumar

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