A number of children, who are cancer survivors, performed on stage on Saturday alongside acclaimed artistes to raise funds for the treatment of children suffering from cancer.
Fifteen-year-old Soumiparna Mitra staged a solo dance. Two years ago the girl was diagnosed with leukaemia. Another 14-year-old girl from Purulia was as part of a group for a dance show. She was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer in 2017. The girls staged their presentations on the same evening that featured performances by Indian classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty and actor Rituparna Sengupta.
“I want my daughter and many others like her who did not allow cancer to bog them down to inspire others. When my daughter was in hospital, I used to teach her every evening because she could not attend school,” said Monimala Mitra, Soumiparna’s mother. “Her treatment cost Rs 7 lakh and almost all of it came from donors. I am indebted to everyone who helped her, including her school teachers and her dance teachers,” she said.
Both the teenaged girls have been leading normal lives for the past several years. They have to only undergo a routine medical check-up at regular intervals.
The Rotary district 3291 and Rotaract district 3291 organised the programme at the Science City mini auditorium.
Partha Sarkar, assistant governor of Rotary District 3291, said they were aiming to raise funds to assist treatment of 100 children suffering from cancer in the coming year. Last year, they had assisted 24 children, he added.
“We raised Rs 10.75 lakh even before the programme started. The entire fund collected will be used to assist the children from low-income group families who cannot afford treatment for their children,” said Sarkar.
He added that the Rotary has tied up with Tata Medical Center-New Town, Institute of Child Health and Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute to support children who come to these hospitals but whose families back off realising they would be unable to meet the costs of treatment.