Hitaishini observed the International Rose Day, like every year, by distributing gift packs to all cancer patients in Chittaranjan National Cancer Hospital (CNCI) and Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute (Thakurpukur). In view of the pandemic there had been some restrictions in the hospitals for which gifts were distributed by the hospital staff.
In CNCI, boxes of gift packs were handed over to Dr. Rupkumar Saha, OIC show distribution of gifts in different hospital wards of CNCI.
On this day the 8th March, we proudly celebrate our womanhood with immense joy . We are proud that we are kind, compassionate and have loving souls we love to love. Strength, empowerment, depth and intuition are the elements of femininity that keep us going.
On this day we salute Smt. VIJAYA MUKHERJEE, For she lit the lamp of sacrifice, support and sympathy by founding HITAISHINI, a Breast Cancer Support organization , a first of its kind in Eastern India in 1995.Without her constant motivation and guidance the organization could not have stepped in the 26th years of its journey of fulfillment of our mission of helping and supporting the distressed breast cancer patients. She has always been an inspiration to us.
We, the caregiver and survivor volunteers feel proud on this Women’s Day as we endeavour to make women aware of the disease like breast cancer and render assistance to avail treatment for recovery from the disease and lead a normal life .
Few pictures are presented from our gallery showing various activities of our volunteer members during the last five years, including the pandemic (year 2020).
In the year 2020, due to the outbreak of the Corona virus disease as a pandemic all over the world, regular activities of Hitaishini could not be carried out smoothly as all our breast cancer clinics attached to different hospitals were closed. But considering the difficulties of the distressed patients we were in constant touch with them so that we can render emergency services for medicinal support and financial help for diagnostic tests etc and also for emotional support.
Because of the restrictions imposed upon all of us as precautionary measures against COVID-19 we could not celebrate the International Rose Day on September 22nd by distributing roses and gifts among the patients of the hospitals . However, when the coronavirus infection rate began to show a downward trend, we planned to organize gift packs for distribution among the cancer patients of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute and Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute.
In the second week of February 2021, we arranged to hand over the gift packets each containing a number of gift items to the authorized representatives of the two hospitals ( as our volunteers were unable to enter different hospital wards )for distribution among the patients.
These are difficult times. Our clinics are closed. We are cooped up at home and cannot provide service to our afflicted sisters. But Hitaishini has ensured that breast cancer patients who approach Calcutta Chemist Corner, Hazra, and Adeline Medical Stores , Thakurpukur, receive their medicines as well as a mask, a bottle of sanitiser and a tin of protein powder to help them tide over this crisis.
It was 8th February,2020, Saturday evening when Hitaishini celebrated its glorious silver Jubilee year and observed Cancer Survivor’s day by organizing a cultural function with music and drama at Madhusudan Mancha, Dhakuria, Kolkata.
Smt. Vijaya Mukherjee, Founder and Former President of Hitaishini lit the inaugural lamp accompanied by other survivor volunteers of the organization. While Smt Mukherjee mentioned the mission of the the organization from the very beginning, President Smt. Nupur Chakraborty and Secretary Smt. Krishna Dutta dealt with the activities of Hitaishini in supporting breast cancer patients.
A short film on Hitaishini ,illustrating its various services at breast cancer clinics of different hospitals and its achievements were screened. Song by Srikanta Acharya and play produced by Naye Natua, directed by Gautam Halder captivated the audience.
Hitaishini observes the biggest annual event of “Awareness Walk” in the main thoroughfare of the city, on 7th November which is celebrated as the National Cancer Awareness Day. The year 2019 is more important to Hitaishini as it coincides with the glorious 25 years of it’s journey since November 1995.
This year, Dr. Arnab Gupta, Director, Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Thakurpukur was kind enough to be present at the opening ceremony of the walk at Hazra Park. Flagging off the walk Dr. Gupta spoke about the mission of Hitaishini and mentioned how actively this organization has been supporting the breast cancer afflicted patients. Pink balloons were released by Dr. Gupta and the walk began.
Hitaishini members walked together with N.C.C. cadets, other cancer support groups, members of Inner Wheel Club and Lions Club, school and college students. Songs were sung all the way.
The walk terminated at Deshapriya Park where there was a big gathering to participate in the concluding ceremony of candle lighting and releasing pink balloons. Candles are lit to remember the departed souls and to pray for ailing cancer patients and pink balloons are released to celebrate life. Smt. Chaitali Dasgupta, famous performing Artist, formerly of Doordarshan, Kolkata inaugurated the ceremony. Rotarian Mr. Partha Sarkar read out a poem from his works and the function ended with sweet melodious songs sung by Dr. Arnab Gupta and Smt.Nupur Chakraborty, President, Hitaishini.
A session on Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) was conducted by Smt. Srijani Banerjee and Smt. Sayani Hore on 22nd October, 2019, where a good number of survivor and caregiver members of Hitaishini participated.
DMT session “ Beautiful Imperfection” has been designed for those who have been diagnosed with terminal illness or have suffered trauma(e.g., breast cancer patients) . It encourages patients to overcome death anxiety and celebrate life with all their flaws and imperfections caused by the disease.
Photos reflect members attending the session with full energy and enthusiasm.
On 25th September 2019, the breast cancer support group of Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Moitri, powered by Hitaishini launched a Lymphedema clinic at Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Andul , Howrah.
Dr. Neha Choudhary, Dr. A. Kundu , Dr. Shrenik Ostwal, occupational therapist Pallavi and a large number of breast cancer survivors were present in the event. In an interactive session between the doctors , Hitaishini members and the lymphedema patients , various questions raised by the sufferers were clarified by the doctors.
The International Rose Day (22nd September) was observed this year by Hitaishini with commendable enthusiasm. Volunteers of Hitaishini distributed roses and gifts among all the cancer patients lying admitted in Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute and Calcutta Heart Clinic and Hospital, wishing speedy recovery of the patients. Doctors also joined with the volunteers in distributing gifts. Photos show some memorable moments of that day.
Awareness Camp on 20th August 2019
Hitaishini conducted an awareness camp at Mahishadal Girls’ College, Midanapore. About 175 girl cadets attended the programme.
Hitaishini, invited by the 1 Bengal Girls BN NCC, Budge budge , conducted an awareness camp on 1st June 2019. Near about 400 girl cadets participated in the programme making it a grand success.
On that day at Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute , distribution of roses and gifts to the cancer patients was initiated by Dr. Jayanta Chakraborty, Director of the Institute and then by Smt. Nupur Chakraborty, President, Hitaishini and other volunteers . Patients in the children word were delighted to receive the gifts. Volunteers of Hitaishini then assembled at Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Thakurpukur and they presented roses with gifts wishing speedy recovery to all the cancer patients lying admitted in that hospital.
Hitaishini organizes annual picnic to celebrate the Survivors’ day. This year (2019) the day was observed on 13th February and the picnic spot was selected at an old bungalow “Hawa-Khana” near Amta, Howrah.
The journey by bus from CNCI Hospital to the picnic venue was very exciting and enjoyable with the singing and dancing by the participants, particularly by the survivors. The whole day was spent around the splendid house with games, funs and music followed by the sumptuous breakfast and lunch.
Photos reflect some memorable moments of the day enjoyed by the survivors and the caregivers who joined the picnic.
This year different organizations observed World Cancer Day by arranging seminars on various topics related to Cancer to aware people about it.
On 1st February, Rotary International District 3291 organized a Seminar on Cancer Awareness at Rotary Sadan, Kolkata, where eminent doctors and Rotarians participated along with the volunteers of Hitaishini. Rotarian Mr. Partha Sarkar was pleased to announce the opening of a children rehabilitation centre very soon at the Institute of Child Health, Park Circus, Kolkata. Smt. Nupur Chakrabarty, President , Hitaishini was presented with a sapling in appreciation of the services extended by the organization to the breast cancer patients.
The Lions Club of Calcutta—Circular Femina organized a programme on “Women Empowerment to Manage Risks of Cancer and Awareness” on 2nd February at Deshapriya Park in which Women Empowerment was represented by Team Hitaishini.
"Tackling the Rising Burden of Cancer: Time to Act Together" was the topic of the seminar organized by FICCI on 5th February, at Tata medical Center, where volunteers of Hitaishini participated and attended all the sessions and panel discussions with keen interest.
A one-day seminar on “Palliative Care” was organized by Hitaishini on 15th December 2018 at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark ,Kolkata.
The Keynote address was delivered by Padmashri Dr. M. R. Rajagopal, Chairman, Pallium India. Dr. Rajagopal, who is often referred to as the “father of palliative care in India “ pointed out in his in lecture that medical care in palliative case is not just about physical relief to the patients and the caregivers but also about spiritual , social and psychological support.
There was a panel discussion on “ Possibilities of Palliative Care in Eastern India” where Dr. Abhijit Dam, Medical Director,Koshis-The Hospice and Secretary , Indian Association of Palliative Care was present as the Moderator. Dr. Arnab Gupta, Director, Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Dr. Gautam Bhattacharjee, Head, Radiation Therapy of the same Institute and Dr.Debashis Jatua, Dept. of Palliative care and Pain Management , Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute were present as panelists to exchange their views.
More than 65 participants including doctors, members of cancer support groups and cancer survivors attended the seminar.
Hitaishini has been entrusted by the Inner Wheel Club of Tollygunge Prantik, DIST-329 with other participating clubs to execute their Lead Project of supporting breast cancer afflicted patients. Photos show Smt. Nupur Chakraborty, President and Smt. Krishna Dutta, Secretary, Hitaishini in a meet on 13th December, 2018 with the Executive Members of Inner Wheel Club of Tollygunge Prantik.
The National Cancer Awareness Day (7th November) was observed by Hitaishini on 12th November,2018, organizing its biggest annual event of walk through the main thoroughfare of the city.
Flagged off by Dr. Jayanta Chakrabarty, Director, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute , the walk started at 4-30 pm from Jatin Das Park. Volunteers and members of Hitaishini along with NCC cadets, other cancer support NGOs ,Ladies groups participated in this walk . Pamphlets were distributed among the public to raise awareness against breast cancer.
At the endpoint (Deshapriya Park) the ceremony of lighting candles and releasing balloons was initiated by Mr. Debashis Kumar, Member,Mayor-in-Council, Parks and Gardens ,KMC. Dr. Arnab Gupta, Director, Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute joined the event and mesmerized everyone with his songs. The program ended with the song by Smt. Nupur Chakraborty, President , Hitaishini.