“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
– Albert Camus
The Assam government’s initiative of setting up 19 cancer care hospitals all over the state is truly a commendable step in its fight against the dreaded disease. Till date people from the northeast have to go to other states for treatment and its follow up care which is very stressful as well as expensive. The treatment of cancer is financially taxing on the patient’s family and it is even more so if the treatment have to be done outside the state. With the laying of the foundation stone of 19 cancer care hospitals in the state which will start functioning by mid-2020 it will be a great help to the people of the whole northeastern region. Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata on Monday laid the foundation of the hospitals in presence of the BJP national president Amit Shah, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and a host of cancer care experts from all over the country as well as senior government officials.
All these hospitals will be set up in a joint venture between Assam government and Tata Trusts – Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF) — with an initial capital of Rs 1910 crore. Tata said researchers under the Trusts are working for finding cutting edge solutions to manage cancer efficiently so that mortality due to cancer can be reduced through awareness, prevention and early detection while taking care closer to the people. We have to thank Tata Trust for the effort in bringing cancer care to the region which was a farfetched thought not long back. The cancer is unpredictable, it can be hereditary and can be triggered by lifestyles and pollution. Along with the searching of a cure for the silent killer we have to make effort for a healthy lifestyle by avoiding known cancer causing things. We have to reduce the use of objects that pollute the environment. Which means we have to take an overall check-up of our whole ecosystem so that the cause of cancer is reduced leading to a healthier citizen. This will lead to less financial burden on the society which in turn will lead to a quality lifestyle. A healthy citizen will contribute more to the working hours and to the society which in turn will lead to more wellbeing.
The state government’s step in setting up cancer care centres in the backward districts of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong is also laudable. The two centres in the hill districts will accelerate development and give employment. We can now hopefully look forward to Assam becoming a hub of cancer treatment by 2020. This will not only benefit the region and the rest of the nation, the Southeast Asian countries as well as other neighbouring countries will benefit from it. The association with the neighbours although for medical reasons will also help in the Act East Policy that will definitely boost the economy. Now that the plan is in place it is time for the state government and the Centre to make it a reality for the people.