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Home News and Update Year 2010 Cancer Survivors Hail Rail Concession

Cancer Survivors Hail Rail Concession

Indian Express
24 February, 2010
Chandigarh, India

Porters Carrying luggage Porters carry luggage at the Chandigarh railway station. This Year the rail budget promises free medical insurance for them
THE rail budget presented by Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday brought some cheer in the lives of cancer patients as 100 per cent concession for those going for treatment along with an escort in AC–3 and sleeper class was announced.

Many, like 57–seven–year old Ram Gosian, a native of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, welcomed the decision. Gosian is a patient of stomach cancer and is undergoing treatment at the PGI in Chandigarh. “The treatment cost is as it is so high and each month, I have to make two trips for chemotherapy to Chandigarh. The travel concession would certainly help me save some money,” he told Newsline.

At PGI alone, over 3,000 cancer patients come to the OPDs and day treatment alone each year and less than 10 per cent of these are from the city. Patients come from neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and as far as Bihar.

“There was some concession on rail travel for cancer patients earlier, but the demand to make it completely free has always been there. I am glad the railway minister did the needful,” said a cancer survivor.

“The minister could not have done better. It's wonderful news for the patients. There was a 75 per cent concession for patients, which has now been made 100 per cent. This was required as patients from smaller towns have to travel to bigger cities for treatment and periodic check–ups. We welcome the move,” said Daman Mangat from Sahatya, an NGO working for cancer patients.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur welcomed the rail budget and thanked Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee for considering the demands of Patiala. She further said, “While presenting the railway budget in Parliament today, Banerjee announced to take up socially desirable projects, connecting the backward areas in Punjab and Haryana. With the announcement, the Railway Ministry would update the survey for the Patiala–Jakhal/Narwana via Samana, Patiala–Kurukshetra and Yamuna Nagar–Patiala rail lines and these projects would be taken up on priority through the Planning Commission.”

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