Dr V Shanta, renowned Indian oncologist and doyen of cancer care, has passed away at the age of 93. Dr V Shanta was also the chairperson of Adyar Cancer Institute.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in condoling her death and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the government would accord 'police honours,' (gun salute) during the funeral to honour her selfless services.
A Cancer Institute official told PTI, "Dr Shanata said she was experiencing chest pain and we took her to a hospital last night. Angiogram procedure was done and we were told that she has blocks. During the treatment, she suffered a heart attack and died at 3.35 am. She was 93-year old."
The cremation would take place this evening at Besant Nagar crematorium, he said.
The Cancer Institute (Womens' Indian Association-WIA) at Adyar is a public charitable voluntary institute dedicated to the care of cancer.
Along with Dr S Krishnamurthi, son of Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy, Dr Shanta played a pivotal role in developing the Cancer Institute from a cottage hospital of 12 beds to a major comprehensive cancer centre of national and international stature.
The institute is popular among the people for its cancer care for the poor.
Here's how leaders reacted:
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, and leaders of all political parties including DMK president M K Stalin, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri, CPI(M) State Secretary K Balakrishnan and PMK founder S Ramadoss condoled her death besides healthcare professionals and the public.
Modi tweeted, "Dr V Shanta will be remembered for her outstanding efforts to ensure top quality cancer care. The Cancer Institute at Adyar, Chennai is at the forefront of serving the poor and downtrodden. I recall my visit to the Institute in 2018. Saddened by Dr. V Shantas demise. Om Shanti."
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit said he was shocked and grieved by her death. He lauded her unparalleled commitment and dedication to cancer patients and the Cancer Institute.
"Her demise is an irreparable loss to the people of Tamil Nadu and particularly to the medical fraternity and poor cancer patients," Purohit said.
Palaniswami said Dr Shanta earned a place in the hearts of people not only in Tamil Nadu but across the country by her selfless services and to honour her, 'police respects' would be accorded during her funeral.
"Dr Shanta's death is a huge, irreparable loss to healthcare and Tamil Nadu," Palaniswami said adding late Chief Minster J Jayalalithaa honoured her with 'Avvaiyar' Award for her services.
DMK chief Stalin showered praise on Dr Shanta saying she worked all her life for providing quality cancer care for the poor, ordinary, and all other sections of the society.
Dr Shanta's stellar work won her a string of awards from both within the country and abroad. It includes Tamil Nadu government award, the Padma awards, and the Magsaysay Award.
She was on WHO Advisory Committee on cancer till March 2005.
According to the institute's website, Dr Shanta joined the institution in April 1955, a fledgling hospital at that time, as its resident medical officer.
Hailing from a family of Nobel laureates, Sir C V Raman and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Shanta graduated (M.B.B.S.) in 1949, completed D.G.O. in 1952 and M.D, in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1955.
It was founded in 1954 hereby Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy, the first woman in India to graduate in medicine in 1912. Dr Reddy, as president of the WIA initiated the Cancer Relief Fund which led to the setting up of the hospital.
With PTI inputs
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