Mumbai

Automaker to help 25 children fight cancer

Mercedes-Benz will donate ₹1 lakh to each patient to mark 25th year of operations in India

To mark its 25th year of operations in India, the country’s largest luxury car manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz, has inked a pact with the Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel to support the living costs of 25 child cancer patients who come to the city seeking treatment.

Mercedes-Benz will donate ₹1 lakh each to the patients. Dr. Shripad Banavali, director (academics), Tata Memorial Centre, said, “We have already identified the 25 children. Each child at Tata Memorial Hospital has a bank account of their own and we will be depositing the money for the children and their parents.”

Providing equal access

Dr. Banavali said the hospital’s ImPaCCT (Improving Paediatric Cancer Care and Treatment) Foundation raises funds not only for treatment but also the living expenses of child cancer patients and their caretakers. He said, “The foundation ensures that every child coming to the hospital gets treatment, irrespective of their financial background.”

According to Shekhar Bhide, vice-president (customer service and corporate affairs), Mercedes-Benz, child cancer patients and their parents come to the city from across the country. He said some of them come from the lowest socio-economic strata. Mr. Bhide said, “Many of them are not able to meet any expenditure in addition to the treatment.”

On Friday, the company organised a puppet show and a musical performance to entertain the 25 children. On Saturday, the children were taken on a joy ride in luxury cars and later for a movie screening.

The hospital’s paediatric department registers 2,800 children for treatment every year. Dr. Banavali said, “The average cost of treatment and other living expenses comes to around ₹2 lakh per year for one child. We are able to raise funds for 80% of the children. We take care of the accommodation, nutrition, blood and platelet donations, and education of the children for which we always need funds.”

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:23:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/automaker-to-help-25-children-fight-cancer/article29311616.ece

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