Activities Report- February 2017
03.02.17 – The trust has been associated with Vision Rescue, a Ngo working for children. They had wanted us to do some ill effects of tobacco activity at Kalwa, Thane where they work for the children and their families. We decided to do a street play and we approached the students of DAV, Bhandup for whom we had done awareness program quite recently. They readily agreed so we all scripted a play for about 10 minutes and with just two- three rigorous rehearsals at the centre the students did a splendid job. The play was enacted twice at two different places and both the places the crowd were jubilant and danced to the songs of Dum Maro Dum, Beedi Jalaye le etc…and the final message which we wanted to impress upon them was well taken too. Two or three men asked us where they could do the oral check up to find out if anything was wrong. This was exactly what we had wanted and felt happy the play was well received. Shanta gave a talk also to the people gathered on the signs & symptoms of oral cancer. 75 to 80 people were present at both the places. After the street plays, there was also an awareness session for the women. 23 women attended the session and also had lot of questions which were answered aptly.
04.02.17 – Painting Competitions were held simultaneously at Vikhroli and Chembur on the occasion of World Cancer day. At Chembur it was held at the Pestom Sagar Citizens ground where about 140 students from 13 schools participated from std 1 to 10. The schools The theme of the painting was “Eat Right and prevent Cancer” The children were made to sit in 4 different groups and the painting session was from 10 to 11.30 am. Two judges viz. Harini Nischal, a professional artist & Anil Vidwan, a retired professional artist judged the paintings. The creative talent of the students came to the fore looking into some of the paintings. Kamla spoke to about 8 parents on cancer in women & Vish spoke to the students about “Cancer free tomorrow”. Snacks (corn pkt & biscuits) were distributed to the children after the event.
At Vikhroli 7 schools took part at the Madhyamik high school hall. 115 students participated in the paint contest. Artist Gira Dalwadi and Gajanan Kabade, alumni of JJ school of arts were the judges. Jaya spoke to the children on ‘Cancer Free tomorrow’ while the judges were busy in selecting the best paintings.5 prizes in each category (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 2 consolations) from primary, Middle & secondary grades were awarded at both the venues.
11.02.17 – Cancer Victors Day
“There is life after cancer” –
This has been the principal guiding factor for Vasantha Memorial Trust, running its 23 rd year towards championing the cause of cancer. Besides sponsoring treatment, the Trust has been counseling patients on personal hygiene and post operative care aiding speedy recovery. While its various year-round activities include scores of awareness campaigns and screening camps, one single event which marks the convergence of all other activities is the celebration of Cancer Victors Day in the month of February. This is the most important and cherished programme for the Trust, as on this day, the victors, those who have triumphed cancer, prove to the world that there is life after cancer. As a salute to the victors, the Trust, with wholesome enthusiasm and commitment, organizes a gala event , a day of fun and dance , a day made memorable not only for the hundreds of attending victors, but also for the Trust members, staff ,volunteers and well wishers.
This year 2017, Cancer Victors day was celebrated on Saturday,11th February at Mysore Association Hall, Matunga. We had arranged two buses at Tata Memorial Hospital to pick up around 70 victors and 30 VMT sponsored patients and a further 80 victors came directly to the venue based on the invites we had sent. The Honourable guests included our long time sponsors, Mr and MRs Muralidharan of GKR Foundation, N.G.S. Ramesh of Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd besides Mr Mukundan of Shaporji Palonji Capital Infrastructure Pvt Ltd and Mr Surendera Behera and Ms Suparna Sharma of STCI Ms Indira Krishnan and Mr Anshuman Malhotra from the tinsel world added charm to the event.
The event began with a prayer song invoking Lord Ganesha, song by children undergoing cancer treatment – it was great to see these children sing loudly and clearly- these children were hesitant initially when they started practicing at our centre but soon gained confidence. Prayer was followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp. After this, a song to hail the cancer victors was played – with the lights in the hall switched off, the cancer victors swayed to the music with lighted torches – it was a sight to behold !
MRs Jayalakshmi gave the welcome address and introduced the guests who also addressed the audience. While Mrs Priya Muralidharan, spoke of the long association of GKR Foundation with VMT, Mr N.G.S. Ramesh of STCI appreciated the Trust’s efforts in conducting awareness campaigns round the country – such as Bhavnagar, Porbander, Kutch in Gujarat , Ooty, Kodiakanal, Tirupur in Tamilanadu and also Darjeeeling, Uttarakhand. Mrs Indira Krishnan, actor, spoke of her joy in attending this event the last few years and danced with the children on the stage.
Soon it was time to start off the cultural events, before that a vote of thanks was in order. Trustee Mrs. Jayalakshmi thanked the chief guests, the sponsors for their gifts in cash and kind, the staff and volunteers, including the student volunteers who had worked tirelessly the last few weeks and most importantly thanked the real heroes, the cancer victors.
The stage was now handed over to Abhay Valsangkar and Aishwarya Agate who hosted the the events thereafter. The duo kept the audience in splits with their light banter throughout. Each of the event was introduced with a shayari in the form of Q&A. Events included Bollywood and hip hop dance forms performed by students of DAV college, Patkar College ande Jhunjhunwala Colleges, classical dance by Khargar ladies group and a interactive dance performance by Powai Ladies group. Between the dance numbers, Shrikant Iyer with Utkarsh Sharma on guitar sang filmi Ghana, there was also a delightful solo by Ms Krishna Khamnkar. Mimicry show by Mithilesh Patankar was hilarious. One cancer victor wanted to come on stage for a prayer song, it was heartening to see the entire audience give a standing ovation.
Like the previous year, there were interactive session between the sponsors and VMT sponsored patients. About 25 patients divided into groups of 5 discussed their experiences with our main sponsors – Mr & Mrs Muralidharan of GKR charities, Mr Ramesh of Stockholding Corpn and Mr Behera of STCI. At VMT we consider this interaction very significant and this has been well appreciated by both.
Finally it was time for the distribution of gift hampers. Each invitee was given a flower vase with five roses – these roses came from a pool of contributions by way of rose coupons, hence each vase displayed the name of the donor. There were a variety of gifts- Tiffin boxes came from the ladies group of Shanta, Sarala, Pravin Khatri & Rekha. Dr Rekha Tirani provided utlility hampers and pens and cakes for children; Coffee mugs by Mr Sudarshan of Future group. Corporate gifts comprised travel bags by Stockholding Corporation of India, Towels by Well spun Industries and sof tdrinks tetra-packs by Coco-cola India. Lunch packets were arranged by Mr. Venkatesh, Teplas for the victors who came in buses from TATA Hospital were provided by Mrs.Gala, the transport services was borne by Anil Menon. VMT provided fruit hampers to all invitees.
The victors and patients who were brought by bus from Tata hospital were dropped off back Finally it was time to relax, all volunteers had lunch together, exchanged photos and talked over the events of the day. What a great day it was !
- Latha Kumar, Volunteer, VMT