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Rashmi Ranjan

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government Wednesday signed two Memorandums of Understanding for a state-of-the-art cancer care centre and a palliative care centre in Bhubaneswar.

The first MoU was signed for Bagchi-Sri Shankar Cancer Centre and Research Institute by the state government, Susmita Bagchi and Shri Shankar Cancer Foundation. The MoUs were signed in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The centre will provide a global standard cancer treatment facility to people in Odisha and from the eastern region of the country.

The second MoU was inked for Bagchi-Karunashraya Palliative Care Centre by the state government, Susmita Bagchi and Karunashraya Hospice Trust. The centre will provide high quality palliative care, peace and dignity to patients in their last few days.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister described the occasion as a historic moment in the health care development of Odisha. He congratulated Susmita Bagchi and Subroto Bagchi for their generous contribution of Rs 340 crore towards the establishment of one of the largest oncology centres in the country.

The chief minister hoped that this act of Mrs and Mr Bagchi will inspire many more to experience the “joy of giving”.

Underlining the significance of service to the society, Patnaik quoted Rabindranath Tagore and said, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

The chief minister also thanked Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Institute for partnering the establishment of a 500-bed Cancer care and research centre and Bangalore Hospice Trust for the Palliative Care centre.

Assuring his support to the initiative, Patnaik said that the state government will extend all support to make these centres operational by January 2024.

Patnaik said thousands of cancer patients and their families will benefit every year.

Founder and Managing Trustee of Sri Shankar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre Dr Srinath B S expressed his gratefulness to the chief minister and the Bagchi couple for inviting him to Odisha for serving people.

Saying that cancer treatment is highly tech-intensive, he spoke on the need to provide equal care to people from all social backgrounds.

He also spoke on the need for going to community to identify people at risk, and take preventive steps to control the disease, and change the lifestyle of people for a happier, healthier society.

Founder and Chairman of Karunashray Kishore S Rao said that the poor suffer more in case of cancer as they are helpless from all sides. He said that emotional and psychological needs of dying patients must be taken care of.

He said that apart from the medical care, 60 per cent of care at his Centre is emotional care.

Susmita Bagchi said that it’s a deeply emotional moment both for her and Subroto Bagchi. She thanked the chief minister for providing the opportunity to give back to their home state by giving the responsibility of Skill Development and Mo School.

While Susmita Bagchi is currently the Chairperson of Mo School Abhijan, Subroto Bagchi is head of the state’s Skill Development Authority.

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