Sunday, March 29, 2009


Though I am be ready to bet on it (yet), this building marks the location where the Cancer Institute (WIA) began service from. The font used to write its name gives away its age, even if the building construction itself could be anytime between 1950 and 1970. Other sources tell us that it is true, the Cancer Institue was established in 1954 in a small hut and it moved into this building in 1955. It is probably the only institute that the WIA (Women's Indian Associaiton) manages; a wise move to not take up any other cause. Considering that the Cancer Institute screens over 125,000 persons every year, the WIA will have its hands full managing the processes and the standard of care provided by the CI (WIA).

Today this is not the only building; in a long stretch which seems to be the backbone of Gandhi Nagar in Adyar there are at least 3 other buildings of the Institute. The fifth one, which was inaugurated in 1977, is on Sardar Patel Road itself, a little way away from this 9-acre campus. When it was inaugurated, this institute was the second dedicated centre in India for treating cancer - the first was the ICRC at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai - but it has been a pioneer in many other ways. The Institute has played a key role in securing several changes to help treatment and prevention of cancer - duty exemptions, travel concessions, recognition of Oncology as a specialty and many other far-reaching initiatives. Most of all, according to this article in The Lancet, the Institute has built capacity for cancer control in the country.

And for all that, the Institute is run on the lines of a not-for-profit; of the 423 beds it has, almost 300 are free; even among 'outpatients', almost two-thirds of them are treated for free. Such dedication has been instrumental in the survival rate among cancer patients going up!


Lowell said...

What a wonderful "success"'s places like this that offer hope to so many people.

Shantaram said...

@ Jacob: You're right... a lot of inspiration, besides the hope!