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Prime minister’s wife leads walk for cancer
New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS):
Published on 7 Feb. 2010 11:34 PM IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur walked for life Sunday. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit walked too. From US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer to Bollywood actors Sharmila Tagore and Rahul Bose, everyone walked to express solidarity with the teeming millions who battle cancer. An annual affair now, the awareness walk of four km called “Walk for Life” organised by CanSupport, an NGO, saw a massive participation by hundreds of people, including Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat. Walking briskly with others, Karat said: “I want to dedicate this walk to my friend Kalindi Deshpande, who was a cancer patient. I know how most of the time cancer patients have to fight a lonely battle against this disease.” Nearly 80 percent cancer patients who come for treatment in India are in advanced stages of the disease and thus have diminished chances of recovery. To battle this problem, more awareness about the disease is required so that early diagnosis can be done, said Harmala Gupta of CanSupport, an NGO. A cancer survivor herself, Gupta said: “Ten lakh people in India are detected with cancer every year. And by 2030, the developing world is expected to bear 70 percent of the global cancer burden. Cancer control should therefore become a part of the public agenda as well as for our leaders too.” Vinod Mandal, whose son is a cancer patient, said: “My twelve-year-old son Aashish suffered from blood cancer. We came to know about it two years back and immediately started his treatment. Thankfully, his condition is much better now.” “We are actually from Bihar and have come to Delhi for better treatment. I came to this walk today to interact with other cancer survivors and get more information about the disease,” he added. The walk also aimed at raising funds for free treatment of those who cannot afford one. According to official figures, India approximately has 2.5 million people suffering from cancer.

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