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Magsaysay Award, a tryst with destiny, says Shanta

Special Correspondent

"International recognition of ethos of Adyar Cancer Institute"



BIG ACHIEVER: S.P.Thyagarajan, Vice-Chancellor, Madras University, felicitating Dr.V.Shanta, Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, at a function organised by the Citizens committee in Chennai on Sunday. Former IAS official G.V. Ramakrishna looks on. — Photo:K. Pichumani

CHENNAI: The Ramon Magsaysay Award conferred on her recently is a "tryst with destiny" and international recognition of the ethos of Adyar Cancer Institute, said chairperson of the institute V. Shanta here on Sunday.

In her acceptance speech at a felicitation function organised by Citizens Committee, Dr. Shanta said the award had come at a crucial time for the institute, and had placed "a greater responsibility on us now to fulfil our purpose and goal."

"The journey ahead is long and arduous with no end in sight. So much more needs to be done and your support will make all the difference," she told well wishers and patrons of the institute. The award was not a personal distinction but belonged to the institute.

She recalled that the institute's survival and development, in the early, difficult years, was mostly due to international philanthropy. She thanked all those who had helped out in the mission.

In his felicitation speech, Madras University Vice-Chancellor S.P. Thyagarajan said Dr. Shanta had dedicated herself to the cause of the poor with "conviction and humbleness." She had successfully communicated to the laymen that cancer was curable if detected early. Dr. Shanta had made the landmark achievement of extending free cancer care to the downtrodden and at an affordable cost to the middle classes.

N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu , said Dr. Shanta was a "hands-on leader" who had made the "heroic attempt to reconcile two objectives that are difficult to reconcile — the pursuit of quality and excellence in medical technology and enabling access [of her achievements] by those with extremely deprived backgrounds."

Dr. Shanta's was "an outstanding personal commitment and achievement" and she had pioneered many concepts that would endure in cancer care. Citizens and corporate south India must back the Institute in its efforts, Mr. Ram said.

Others who spoke included Sarojini Varadappan and C.S. Veeraraghavan, chairperson and convenor of the Citizens Committee, Kamala Parasuram and N. Sugalchand Jain, vice-chairpersons of the committee, former IAS official G.V. Ramakrishna, S.N. Bhatt, member of the governing body of the Cancer Institute, and N.S. Murali, honorary secretary, Voluntary Health Services.

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