V Shanta, doyen of cancer care in the country and chairperson of the Adyar Cancer Institute died on Tuesday morning.
She was 93 years old and was working even until her hospitalisation.
The Adyar Cancer Institute (WIA), located in Chennai, is one of the oldest and most reputed cancer treatment centres in the country. The institution offers high-quality cancer care to all sections of the society, and is very well known for free hospital services for the poor.
Her body has been moved to the old Cancer Institute premises, which she helped build along with her mentor Dr Krishnamoorthy.
Dr Shanta was rushed to the hospital after she complained of chest pain on Monday, 18 January, night at about 9 pm. She had a massive block and passed away at 3.55 am on 19 January, reported The Hindu.
Shanta was born into a distinguished family that included two Nobel Laureates, C V Raman and S Chandrasekar. The institute began with just two doctors, Shanta and Krishnamurthi, and she served as honorary staff for a few years, and then made it her home.
Dr Shanta is a member of the Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission for health and has been advocating to change the public perception of the disease.
She has won several awards, including Ramon Magsaysay Award, Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan.
Tributes have already started pouring in from the medical fraternity and political circles.
The Cancer Institute has served as a voluntary charitable, non-government institution that relies mainly on hospital income and public contributions. The institute is free of cost for 30% of the patients and nominal for another 30%.
In March, three patients tested positive for COVID-19, hence the institute was empty during the end of March and all of April. Since it is a cancer institute and they need to be more careful about the spread of coronavirus, they have been taking all precautions to ensure safe hospitalisation. Earlier in May 2020, Dr Shanta had appealed to the public to send in donations to be able to continue to provide free treatment and afford the additional costs for sanitizing.
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