After beating cancer, ace cricketer Yuvraj Singh now begins a new innings against the disease in partnership with the state government.
On Saturday, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal named him brand ambassador of a big awareness campaign coming up in the state for the early detection and treatment of cancer at all district-level hospitals. Oncologists from leading hospitals and organisations committed to the cause of eliminating cancer are also on the team.
Launching Cancer Screening Campaign at Punjab Bhawan, Badal said the latest cancer treatment was available at Baba Farid Medical University of Health Sciences, Faridkot; and the government medical colleges in Amritsar and Patiala. "A 400-bed cancer hospital at Mullanpur (near Chandigarh), coming up in collaboration with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai; and a 100-bed facility at Bathinda will add to the infrastructure," said the CM, who lost his father and wife to the disease.
Badal expected the union cabinet to clear the Mullanpur project in the next meeting. "The Punjab government has a dedicated fund of `200 crore for cancer treatment in the state, and each patient receives `1.5 lakh from it," he said. The government's cancer survey covered nearly 2.7 crore people and now the campaign will again go into all 22 districts on September 28 and 29.
Referring to the general trend among people of ignoring the health problems until very late, Badal said the media could help educate them about cancer's symptoms so that the disease was detected in the initial stage. He appreciated the young cricketer's overcoming the disease bravely and now volunteering to tell people about its cure.
Badal recalled the trauma of cancer in own family. "I call upon private health institutions such as Max Healthcare and non-government organisations (NGOs) such as Roko Cancer and Rani Breast Cancer (RBC) to work in unison with the government's mission to eradicate the disease from the state," he said.