In a three-day 'Chalo Chalein Taj Mahal' programme, as many as 1,500 children affected by cancer, survivors, families and social support teams are expected to participate.
This first-of-its-kind exhibition on childhood cancer awareness kicked off in the Taj Mahal complex on Sunday. The exhibition is part of 'Go Gold India; Taj Goes Gold and UP Goes Gold' campaign of the non-government organisation (NGO) 'CanKids-Kidscan', a registered charitable national society. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has also extended his support to the campaign.
Nearly 250 cancer-affected children are likely to visit from Lucknow, Allahabad and Kanpur, besides 1200 from Delhi, Noida and other parts of the country, including award winners of 'I Deserve', 'Light it up Gold Taj Mahal' and 'I Pledge Campaign .
One of the cancer survivors said gold is the colour for childhood cancer as children are priceless and precious and they must be given proper treatment. "We have organised a childhood cancer exhibition here spread over an area of 150 metre. We have used gold ribbon. We are encouraging people and creating awareness," said organiser of CanKids-Kidscan's Poonam, who herself is cancer survivor.
They demanded eight things from the government for cancer treatment including increasing the number of cancer centres and use a single protocol across India among others. They also asked for a proper childhood cancer programme with engagement of cancer survivors, their families and NGOs working in this field. Chandan Sen, another cancer survivor, is collecting 25,000 signatures in support of their demands.
"I am collecting 250,000 signatures from all over the world. Each signature is for a new cancer sufferer. I will present this to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda to fulfil our eight demands," she said. Explaining the purpose behind organising the exhibition on the Taj Mahal Complex that will conclude on September 27, Agra District Magistrate Gaurav Dayal said it gave better publicity to the exhibition.
"The purpose of organising at the Taj Mahal is that people in large number can visit this (exhibition) and it can get better publicity. I think it's successful in that regard," Dayal added.