Buying a piece of art could help fund the treatment of a child suffering from cancer.

The city will host an art auction with a collection of 70 artworks from January 23 to 25. Artists from across the country including masters of contemporary Indian Art — Raza, Shakti Burman, Jehangir Sabvala, Harshavardhan, Sujata Bajaj and Bose Krishnamachari will be featured.

Organised by the Madras Round Table 1 (MRT1), the auction is a fundraiser in aid of Ray of Light Foundation, an organisation which helps in providing free treatment for underprivileged children with cancer.

“The artworks have been donated by artists and donors. People in Chennai are buying artworks. Buying at an auction has tax exemptions and has no value added tax. The money raised will go to Ray of Light Foundation,” Manu Wassan, chairman of MRT1 told reporters on Monday.

Founded 12 years ago, Ray of Light Foundation has helped 63 children so far. “Children from poor families do not come for treatment or drop out of treatment due to financial constraints. We have adopted 63 children and have provided free treatment – drugs and chemotherapy – for two-and-a-half-years,” its founder and paediatric surgeon Priya Ramachandran said.

The children are treated at Kanchi Kamakoti Childs Trust Hospital and the families are not charged for beds and laboratory tests.

“We receive 30 to 40 cases of paediatric cancers every year and we extend help to families which cannot completely afford the treatment. We need Rs. five lakh to treat a child for nearly three years. We get funds from donors, sponsors and companies,” she said.

The survival rates of paediatric cancers reported across the country vary from 40 to 45 per cent, while the rate was around 83 to 85 per cent with this small group of children, she added.

A preview of the artworks will be held from January 23 to 25 at The Hyatt Regency, Mount Road and the auction will be held from 8 p.m. onwards on January 25.

“The artworks will be partly auctioned and some will be sold through donations,” Ashwin Ramkumar of MRT1’s fund raising committee said.

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