The annual summit of the Indian Cancer Society held at the Indian International Centre in Lodhi Estate on September 24, 2023, was a remarkable event that brought together various stakeholders in the field of cancer care. It was an occasion to celebrate the accomplishments and milestones achieved in the battle against cancer, as well as an opportunity to discuss the challenges that lie ahead.
One of the highlights of the summit was the presentation by the representative of Pallium India, Dr Preeti Chauhan (Department Head – National Policy, Pallium India) on ‘The role of NGOs in Cancer Care‘. The presentation depicted the incredible 19-year struggle it took to get amendments done in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985. Through the efforts of Pallium India, along with Lawyer’s Collective and other civil society organizations, significant amendments were made in 2014. These efforts were recognized for the first time in the 57th UN convention, a prestigious recognition for any civil society organization. The presentation was successful and received positive recognition from all present.
The chief guest at the summit was Dr. J.K Singh, a respected medical professional from Patna, Bihar, who has been awarded the Padma Shri for his work in public health and cancer care. His presence added great value to the event, and his insights on the future of cancer care were highly appreciated.
The annual summit was also marked by the launch of an app developed by the Indian Cancer Society for the general public, named ‘Rise Against Cancer‘. The app serves as a valuable source of information and is available in five different languages, making it accessible to a wide range of users. It offers a user-friendly interface and has been categorized to suit the needs of patients, caregivers, and medical workers. This app is expected to empower individuals with vital knowledge and resources to navigate the challenges of cancer.
In addition to informative presentations and launches, the summit was a wonderful opportunity for networking and collaboration. Representatives from various civil society organizations working towards a strengthened public health system were present, fostering the sharing of ideas and experiences. It was particularly heartening to see the presence of Ms. Poonam Bagai and Ms. Mridu Gupta, both well-known figures in the field of cancer care.
The organizers of the summit, Mrs. Jyotsna Govil and Mrs. Indira Jasuja, extended warm welcomes to all participants. They also made special mention of NGOs like Jagriti, Sahyog, Prashanti, and other organizations run by doctors, recognizing their contributions to the fight against cancer. The event went a step further by honoring cancer survivors from different NGOs and presenting a rolling trophy to the winners of a video presentation competition.
Overall, the summit was highly informative, insightful, and unique. It emphasized the crucial role of NGOs in cancer care and shed light on the tremendous efforts required to bring about policy changes and improvements in the field. The event concluded on a positive note, leaving attendees motivated and inspired to continue their work in the fight against cancer. It served as a reminder that collective action and collaboration are essential for achieving a stronger and more effective public health system in India.