The Rotaract clubs of RI District 3291 have come together to establish the Rotaract Cancer Rehab Centre at the Institute of Child Health (ICH) in Kolkata. The Rotaractors have pitched in to equip the centre with bright-coloured furniture, board games and have painted and adorned the walls with cartoon characters to cheer up ailing children. Water purifiers, a television, music system and a laptop has also been provided here.
The centre was inaugurated in March by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Debasish Kumar in the presence of PDGs and other Rotarians of the district.
ICH will open out the centre without charges for paediatric cancer patients. An experienced team of therapists and physicians will work with the patients to address their rehabilitation, says Sumit Ray, the District Secretary and member of RAC Altruism. The drugs and radiation therapy have side-effects later that can impair their performance including their memory, mathematical ability and learning capability. The goal is to improve the quality of life of the young patients and keep them comfortable amidst their pain.
The Rotaractors are planning to look for more volunteers to reach out and lend a shoulder to the patients. “We are also planning to organise awareness drives to educate people, especially in the backward areas, to come forward for cancer screening as early detection is vital for its successful treatment. We want to drive home this message among people everywhere because even educated people tend to be extremely negligent when it comes to undergoing a full-body test,” says Ray.
He recalls the initiative taken by PDRR Aloke Agarwal in 2011 for the establishment of a children’s ward at the Saroj Gupta Cancer Care Centre and Research Institute in 2012. “Several Rotaract clubs contributed to set up the ward. Since then Rotaractors make it a point to pay regular visits and make lives of the cancer-afflicted children a little better in some way or the other.”