The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dada’r Shongey Dil Sey Deejiye- the fundraiser for Tata Medical Center

It started operations five years back in New Town, Kolkata with the aim to bring the best cancer care available in India to Kolkata that could benefit thousands of cancer patients in eastern India. Till then the destination cancer care hospital for this part of the country used to be Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai.

It is a great relief to know that, Tata Medical Center has not only fulfilled the aim but has also become a reliable address for cancer patients and their families to head for. It has a human face as it is run on a not-for-profit basis. With the wait time for patients in getting therapy becoming longer even as the radiotherapy department is working round the clock, the hospital is in crucial need for expansion.

A bit on the background of this blessing for those in need:
It was conceptualized as a philanthropic initiative in 2004 for the eastern and north eastern India and the neighbouring countries. It had been noted that maximum cancer patients in India are from the eastern part. The trust which the hospital would be governed by, called Tata Medical Centre Trust, was established in 2005. Set up at a cost of Rs 350 crores, the hospital is an integrated cancer treatment facility with state-of-the-art equipment from the best of manufacturers worldwide and 167 beds, half of which is earmarked for free or subsidized treatment to underprivileged patients. The no. of beds was subsequently taken to 183. It provides a holistic range of services from diagnosis and therapy to rehabilitation and palliative support. To date, it has treated 58000 patients out of which 53000 were from eastern India.

A detailed expansion plan is already in place and it will add 252 inpatient beds to the hospital (much more than the current strength), 3 radiotherapy linear accelerators, a dedicated paediatric oncology unit including day care and ICU and cafeteria for patients and visitors. In fact, construction has started in November 2014 and it is expected to be ready by mid to late 2017. Needless to say, it calls for massive finance and contribution can come from sensible individuals and businesses who relate to the cause and the pride of Kolkata that that the hospital will become. Once operational, it will add immensely to affordable and quality cancer care in the private space in the east.

Tata Medical Center announced in a press conference last week about its fundraising initiative Dada’r Shongey Dil Sey Deejiye for the planned expansion. No prize for guessing ‘Dada’- it’s Sourav Ganguly who has come on board to show his support for the hospital’s expansion.

The fundraiser, to be held in the evening of 8th April, was themed around cricket. Usha Uthup was to perform, apart from popular stand-up comedian Angad Ranyal. There would also be a fashion show with designer Krishna Mehta’s special collection for the occasion where stars like Jisshu Sengupta would walk the ramp. Actors Dev and Raima Sen were also to be present to support the cause. Auction of cricket memorabilia would be held. The tickets were auctioned through WhatsApp and Facebook, and the top 10 bidders would be presented with a limited edition canvas personally autographed by Sourav Ganguly.

Apart from Sourav, those present in the press conference were Geeta Gopalakrishnan, Honorary Director – Donor Relationship, Tata Medical Center; Dr Mammen Chandy, Director, Tata Medical Center; Suresh Gopinathan Menon, Vice President, Tata Consultancy Services; Ambar Singh Roy, Head- Corporate Communication, Tata Steel, West Bengal and Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds.

(Left to right) Ambar Singh Roy, Suvankar Sen, Dr Mammen Chandy, Geeta Gopalakrishnan and Sourav Ganguly

(Left to right) Geeta, Sourav and Suresh Gopinathan Menon

Dr Chandy briefly told how the radiotherapy unit is being run for almost 24 hours and still patients have to wait and how the expansion would be adding to the hospital.

Suresh Gopinathan Menon said about the patient management software that TCS had made for Tata Medical Center when it started operation and that it aims to make the operations light on paper, if not completely paperless.

Ambar Singh Roy said that Tata Steel is committed to supporting Tata Medical Center in as many ways as possible. It has been leveraging various platforms (like Tata Steel 25K marathon) to generate support for the hospital.

Subhankar Sen talked about the unique donation initiative implemented at Senco Gold jewellery stores. In each store there will be boxes marked as Dil Sey Deejiye 10 Rupayee and Dil Sey Deejiye 100 Rupayee. The customers would be requested to pitch in with their bit by donating money starting with a meagre amount as Rs 10 (Sen reminded that the drops make an ocean). He said that people buy jewellery for happy occasions and they won’t mind donating for such a noble cause which will make their happiness bigger.

Sourav said he visited the hospital for Make a Wish foundation and Dr Chandy took him on a tour of the hospital. From that day, he became mentally attached to the hospital.

#TMCKolkata #Philanthropy #Fundraiser

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