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Holi of a different kind for cancer patients
Published on 10 Mar. 2009 12:14 AM IST
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It was a Holi of a different kind for 40 children suffering from cancer as they showered flowers on each other, danced to popular Bollywood Holi numbers and collected gifts before leaving for hospital for their treatment. The children from the cancer hospital of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Monday took part in Holi celebrations organised specially for them at a daycare centre being run by NGO CanSupport. “I never have enjoyed such Holi celebrations. I had so much fun and it was wonderful,” said eight-year-old Ashish Kumar, who had to leave school after he was detected with cancer. Ashish is among many cancer-afflicted children who come to AIIMS every Monday for treatment and are brought to the daycare centre by the NGO for fun therapy exercises. The children are involved in activities like painting, paper cutting, reading, drawing, singing and dancing for around two hours. “They (the NGO people) told us the mythical history behind Holi. We also took a pledge to fight back cancer and serve society,” said an enthusiastic Mohit as he danced to drum beats. Harmala Gupta, founder of the NGO, said: “The kids come from far off places in the country and have to wait for hours before they get their test reports. So we bring them to our centre and organise a series of activities to make them laugh.” “These kids need more love and affection. They have all rights to enjoy life and celebrate festivals. We decided to bring them the pleasures of Holi in a different way,” said Gupta. The NGO has roped in several trained counsellors for palliative care of the children. “We know they are suffering from a painful disease but more important is that they remain hopeful in life. We tell them that they have to fight back and we are there with them always,” said Bhanu Seth, a volunteer with the NGO.

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