Children are the symbol of a carefree life. As annoying as they could sometimes be, their zeal and the vitality that they showcase provides happiness to everybody around them.
Could you imagine what a child goes through, when it is struggling to fight against such a deadly disease as cancer? No? Neither can I.
Every year around 1,75,000 children are diagnosed with pediatric or childhood cancer. About 96,000 children lose their lives to it.
In India itself, 70 per cent of nearly 50,000 children diagnosed with cancer die every year, due to unawareness about the disease and its treatment.
The cure rate for childhood cancer is 30-50 percent here, against 70-95 percent in advanced countries.
To eradicate this problem of unawareness, a three-day-exhibition about childhood cancer awareness began in Taj Mahal, Agra on 25th September.
As many as 1,500 children are expected to participate in the exhibition, which is a part of the ‘Go Gold India-Taj Goes Gold and UP Goes Gold’ campaign of non-government organisation (NGO) ‘CanKids..Kidscan’, National Society for Change for Childhood Cancer in India.
The Delhi based NGO, CanKids KidsCan, has been trying to get the monument lighted up in gold: a colour representing childhood cancer, just as pink is for breast cancer, but the Archaeological Survey of India denied their permit.
(They still aren’t willing to bog down, and the campaign to light it gold is still going on.)
Due to lack of awareness, a lot of symptoms of childhood cancer go unnoticed by the families of the children at the initial stage. On the other hand, the struggle, for a kid, to live in a society with a terminal disease like cancer, with the stigma around it is certainly not a piece of cake.
Children are often alienated by their friends because their families advise them to stay away from “such children”. This fear is not real but is just a manifestation of the unaware and ignorant mind. Kids who go through such a pain deserve more love and affection than others, and this exhibition aims to point this out to people.
The bravery and courage of cancer survivors should be celebrated, and this is exactly what this campaign thrives upon.
Let’s hope that it succeeds in liberating the minds of people, and provides a ray of hope to the survivors!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.