A NEW initiative by the largest expatriate association in the kingdom will provide counselling and information to cancer patients following a special event attended by a doctor known as the ‘Saint with a Stethoscope’.
The Cancer Assistance Forum will be officially launched today at the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam (BKS) premises in Segayya by renowned visiting Indian oncologist Dr P V Gangadharan.
The forum, led by the BKS executive committee, promises to help cancer patients seeking treatment back home in India. It will assist those affected and their families in locating oncology facilities, care and medication.
“The Cancer Assistance Forum is an urgent necessity because many of us are dealing with cancer-related issues and are in desperate need of assistance,” BKS president P V Radhakrishna Pillai told the GDN.
“Through this newly-activated body, BKS intends to provide all possible assistance to needy and poor cancer patients.
“Those who wish will be given free counselling assistance. Our volunteers will assist them in arranging medical care, appointments at centres and with doctors, and so on, particularly those who wish to travel to India for treatment.
“The forum will also engage in other regular activities focusing on local awareness initiatives, workshops and seminars.”
Dr Gangadharan will also be honoured with the first ‘Arogya Mitram (Friend of Health) Award’ for his contributions in the field, on the occasion.
Together with his wife, Dr Chithrathara, free counselling sessions will be offered to individuals at the BKS today and tomorrow.
Dr Gangadharan, the former head at the Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, is known for his support to the poor and needy by providing cancer patients with subsidised medicines and free counselling through the Cochin Cancer Society.
Dr Chithrathara, a cancer surgeon, is Kerala’s first and only female urologist, the state’s first uro-gynae surgeon and a specialist in breast cancer treatment.
“We urge people to make the best use of this opportunity – they can contact BKS officials for appointments to meet these veterans and discuss their concerns,” added Mr Pillai.
Speaking on the accolade, BKS general secretary Varghese Karakkal added that the inaugural awardee was picked without a ‘second thought’.
“The annual award will honour exemplary services in the medical field – those who uphold humanitarian values will be identified, shortlisted and chosen for the title through a predefined process,” he said. “We had no second thought while finalising the awardee from the potential list of candidates. Dr Gangadharan is a proven oncologist whose selfless services have supported many people suffering from cancer.”
The doctor-couple will also be the guest gurus on the auspicious morning occasion of ‘vidyarambham’ tomorrow, known as Vijayadashami, which marks the Hindu tradition of introducing children into the world of learning.
To meet the medics, GDN readers should contact Mr Pillai (39691590) / Mr Karackal (39617620) / BKS Vice President Devdas Kunath (39449287) / Charity Committee Convener K T Saleem (33750999).