ORIGIN: Cochin Cancer Society was formed during 2004 by a handful of city-based individuals. All of them at some point having experienced the ordeal of either having a cancer patient in their family or being a survivor of the disease.

Perhaps, this unique element is what sets the Society apart from similar organisations. The presence of Dr. V. P. Gangadharan, renowned oncologist, who is also actively involved, makes the functioning of Cochin Cancer Society very effective.

ACTIVITIES: ‘Little drops make an ocean’ is what is extolled on a handout issued by the Society and several such drops of compassion are making a whole ocean of difference to those suffering from cancer, a disease soaked in misconceptions.

Cochin Cancer Society has a well-defined operational structure. “We assess the financial status and family background of the patients before enrolling them into out beneficiary list,” says Beena Philip, a dedicated volunteer who’s available on call anytime. Needy patients are provided with medicines, food and even accommodation, if need be.

The Society retains a small house in the city which allows needy patients and their aides to stay on during interim periods when they come to the city for treatment. Last year alone the Society could reach out to as many as 180 patients. The administration of the Society is handled by a team of professionals from different fields, all of them doing voluntary work.

The Society pools its resources from friends, family members and other well wishers. Certain corporate houses and social organisations have also come forward to aid their activities unconditionally after having understood the activities of the Society.

“Today, there are plenty of people who are willing to lend financial support to activities for a social cause provided they are convinced of the work being done,” remarks Vargis Jacob, a city-based finance professional who has been working with the Society for some time now.

Counselling forms an important activity of the Cochin Cancer Society because psychologically both the patients and their families become brittle on being diagnosed with the disease. As the counselling is by survivors a more realistic picture is presented before the affected people.

The Society has plans to open district-wise counselling centres which will be manned by cancer survivors.

Children suffering from cancer are given special attention by the Society members. Various contests are conducted among them and a number of festive occasions are celebrated ensuring their total participation.

Home made food is delivered regularly to both patients and their bystanders. Another key activity of the Society is working towards bringing more awareness about the disease among commoners. Seminars, camps and street corner programmes are carried out aimed at different target groups.

IMPACT: Through its manifold yet very specific activity mode, Cochin Cancer Society is making an attempt to weave a rainbow in the life of cancer patients, most of whom are a devastated lot assuming that life has hit a dead end.

“Through our unflinching interventions, we could enhance the confidence quotient of patients and make the entire family more affectionate and emotionally attached,” remarks Vargis Jacob.

GETTING IN TOUCH: To get into contact with Cochin Cancer Society, associate or to know more about their activities call 9847035861 or dial 8129985171 (for free counselling).

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