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Home News and Update Year 2010 Cancer Kids to Get a Few Lessons

Cancer Kids to Get a Few Lessons

Times of India
07 April 2010
By Lata Mishra

A novel initiative by the Tata Memorial Hospital will now ensure that children afflicted with the disease do not have to miss their studies
Bhushan Khanas wants to be a scientist Bhushan Khanas wants to be a scientist
Eleven–year–old Bhushan Khanas, a citizen of Nepal admitted to Tata Memorial Hospital for blood cancer treatment was depressed when he missed his sixth standard exam. But he can now take heart from the fact that he will not have to miss his studies any more during his stay at the hospital. All thanks to an initiative by the hospital and a NGO. Classes will now be conducted at the hospital for students from standard four to ten in English, math and science. And these classes will be for free.

According to doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital, children who are forced to remain at the hospital for their treatment, get depressed when they have to miss school. To address their problem, the hospital has decided to come up with a programme in which classes would be conducted for these children for free.

Talking about the motivation behind this, Dr Brijesh Arora, paediatric oncologist said, “After diagnosis, children afflicted with cancer have to go for chemotherapy for six to nine months. They have to miss school during this period and they often find it difficult to accept. We wanted to help them fight this depression.“ The programme, initiated with the help of an NGO, Little More, will have six teachers visiting the hospital every week to teach math, science and English to the children. Gitali Pawar, of the NGO says she was inspired to come up with this project when she interacted with the children during her mother’s hospitalisation last year. “Classes will commence from May 17,“ Pawar added.

Bharti Khatpeis wants lessons in maths Bharti Khatpeis wants lessons in maths
Besides helping the children with their studies, the hospital will also focus on counselling their families. “When children are diagnosed with cancer, we counsel the parents as well as the children. Often the kids are too embarrassed to go back to school because they lose hair during chemotherapy. They are also unhappy to join school if they have to sit with their juniors. Our aim is to see to it that in such cases, the children’s studies are not disrupted,“ explained Dr Arora.

The children are quite enthused about the programme. Beamed little Bhusan, “I want to become a scientist when I grow up. And I take my studies very seriously. However, I have to spend a whole year at the hospital for chemotherapy. I was upset when my illness made me miss my exam and the entire academic session. I am glad I will now get to study at the hospital itself now,“ and with a triumphant smile he added, “I am very happy.“

Ten–year–old Bharti Khatpe, a fifth standard student is excited about this project. Says Bharti, who is undergoing treatement for blood cancer since the last six months, “I am happy I’ll be able study in the hospital during my treatment. Maths is my favourite subject!“

Long Road to Recovery
Tata Memorial Hospital receives 800 new cases of paediatric cancer patients every year, out of which 80 per cent children come from other states and neighbouring countries.After diagnosis, these children have to stay back for six–nine to receive chemotherapy. Even after chemotherapy the patients have to visit the hospital frequently for follow–ups.

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