As the second leading cause of deaths in India, the burden of cancer is felt by lakhs of families in our country. But by being informed about the advantages of early detection, the mortality rate due to cancer can be considerably lowered. With Can Chetna - a community awareness initiative, Sanjeevani… Life beyond Cancer aims to significantly reduce the number of cancer cases in India by imparting knowledge about cancer and its exhausting effects, by reaching out to doctors, hospitals, medical administrators, media professionals, corporates, students and Social Clubs such as NSS and Rotary groups.
After frequent rounds of discussion with health-care professionals, educationists, specialists from social sectors and people who stand to benefit from this program itself, we realised that through Can Chetna, we need to work towards the following objectives:
1. Encouraging and enabling the community to talk about cancer in an open and non-judgmental manner through awareness programs
2. Increasing sensitivity about the massive extent of cancer cases in India
3. Encouraging participants to adopt healthy lifestyle practices
4. Informing the community on steps for prevention of cancer and the importance of early detection for a higher chance at survival
5. Setting up screening camps in the community on a regular basis to further detect cancer cases in its nascent stages.
How do these awareness programs plan to bring about noticeable change?
Our Can Chetna program provides dedicated teams across a number of cities that have Regional Cancer Centres (RCCs). The aim is to hold free-of-cost awareness drives that promote open conversations about cancer, its symptoms, the need for early detection and the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles to keep cancer at bay. Each team consists of qualified professionals who are adept in holding awareness camps across schools, colleges and local communities.
What does a Can Chetna team do?
1. Sensitize the youth about reasons behind cancer's diagnosis, the types of cancer, its symptoms, methods of treatment and the need for a healthy lifestyle.
2. Instil within them the message that almost all of these types of cancer can be cured through early detection.
3. Impart all of this knowledge through an amalgamation of comprehensive presentations, Q&A sessions, quizzes, films etc. (You can look at some of the films our volunteers have created that talk about the effects of smoking on pregnancy, the adverse effects of gutka and their pledge towards a Tobacco-free India.)
4. Conclude awareness camps with all the participants taking a pledge to adopt healthy practices and sharing the knowledge gained through the camp with others.
After Covid 19 happen, we started to reach out to schools/colleges/communities/organizations virtually, to impart knowledge about living a healthy lifestyle & building immunity to remain safe from cancer as well as COVID.
As of date, we are able to conduct the 1311 program, and a total of 111430 benefitted from the awareness session.
In case you would like us to conduct awareness camps for your office, clubs, communities, schools, or colleges please do write to us at: [email protected]
In what other ways does the Can Chetna initiative achieve its objectives?
Apart from holding awareness camps, Can Chetna aims to empower the masses and increase cancer literacy through the following programs:
1. Opening dialogues for advocating cancer awareness with governments, philanthropic organizations, donor groups, etc.
2. Creating content for awareness by guiding students during college festivals
3. Facilitating cancer victors and caregivers' conferences
4. Forming Can Clubs across colleges
5. Arranging Can-A-Thons and Can-A-Rides whenever possible