Assam chief minister Sarbanada Sonowal on Sunday inaugurated Sishu Ashray Sthal, a home for children suffering from cancer, at Six Mile here.
The facility, set up by NGO Deepsikha, will provide accommodation, food, education, transportation to and from hospitals, counselling and financial support to the children and parents during the course of treatment.Children suffering from cancer, especially leukemia, have a good chance of getting treated but parents are often unable to continue treatment which costs time and money. Around 1,000 to 1,300 children are afflicted with cancer every year in Assam, according to doctors.
"I congratulate Deepsikha and individuals who have come forward to set up Sishu Ashray Sthal, which will help take children suffering from cancer from darkness to light. The parents have found a shelter. This endeavour of Deepsikha will motivate all people to come forward and lend a helping hand. The government will extend all possible support. If humans do not help one another, there will be no humanity. I am sure Deepsikha will continue to grow and the facilities enhanced in time," Sonowal said. The facility also houses a 150-seater auditorium, which has been turned into Shilpir Prithibi, a place for writers and artistes, and a children's park.
Sonowal said his government has inked a memorandum of understanding with Tata Trusts for setting up 18 state-of-the-art hospitals. He said the government has set up a PET scan facility for early diagnosis of cancer, which claims 16,000 lives in the state every year. He said the government is also considering a plethora of initiatives for holistic cancer care in the state.
Deepsikha runs patient support services in Mumbai, a hospice at Mirza, 28km from here, and organises awareness drives in rural areas in the Northeast.
Chief minister's media adviser Hrishikesh Goswami, chief information commissioner Himangshu Sekhar Das, chief secretary V.K. Pipersenia, NEC secretary Ram Muivah, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya, B. Borooah Cancer Institute director Dr Amal Kotoky, Keshab Chandra Sarma, who donated land for Sishu Ashray Sthal, and flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, among others, were present.