for the patients of North Western India
Your gift means we can bring hope to underprivileged cancer patients in India,
to help in their battle against cancer.
Together, we can make a difference in their lives.
Provide free diagnosis, medication and treatment for underprivileged patients.
Upgrade healthcare facilities and equipment.
CANCER, the world’s 2nd deadliest disease, is alarmingly prevalent in the farming region of Malwa.
The region has seen such a fast growth of number of cancer patients that it is known as the Cancer Capital of India.
An average of 136 people per 100,000 suffer from the disease, exceeding the national average of 80 per 100,000.
Everyday, an average of 18 deaths occur in this region due to cancer.
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Who are these patients?
The cancer patients are small farmers and their families are from the Malwa region which includes Barnala, Bathinda, Faridkot, Moga, Muktsar, Fazilka, Patiala, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Ropar, Mohali, Sangrur, Fatehgarh sahib and Mansa.
What is the cause?
Studies indicate excessive and unregulated use of pesticides on food crops as one of the leading causes.
This results in farmers and their families living in a cesspool of toxicity that also contaminates the water they drink and bathe in.
Malwa farmers’ use of pesticides is 923 g/ha, way above the national average of 570 g/ha (grams per hectare). Of the top 15 pesticides used, the US's Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of them as 'possible', 'likely', 'probable,' or 'known' human carcinogens (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin).
Farmers believe they may be paying a price for the success of the 1970s' Green Revolution. That was when farmers in the region switched from traditional farming methods to a combo formula of high yield seeds-fertilizer-pesticide-water.The region on average accounts for 19% of wheat and 13% of India's rice production. The Green Revolution ensured India’s capacity to export food grains, from begging for food and aid.
India's Cancer Train
Every night at 9:00pm, a train arrives at Bathinda railway station and departs at 9:30pm to cover a distance of 324km to reach the city of Bikaner around 5am. The official name of this train is the Abohar-Jodhpur Passenger train. Over the decade, it has gained the name ‘Cancer Train’ by the locals due to the fact that there are around 100 daily cancer patients travelling on this train.
The patients undertake this 8 hour long journey to visit Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment and Research Institute, one of the oldest and prime centres for cancer treatment in North-West India. The hospital runs with a mission to provide affordable care to all economic sections of society. Amongst other things, they provide free and subsidised diagnosis, medicine and treatment for underprivileged patients. For many, it is the only affordable option.
The Indian Railways also provide concession for cancer patients going for their treatment. They are entitled for 100 % concession while one of their attendants gets 75% concession on the fare.
Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Hospital and Research Centre is one of the oldest and prime centres for treatment of cancer in North West India. It is fast becoming the only affordable option for the poor, who are driven into debt while meeting their treatment expenses.
The hospital provides free and subsidised diagnosis, medicines and overnight stay at their facilities for underprivileged patients. However, the numbers of new and follow up patients have increased by about five times and thirteen times respectively. Today, over one thousand patients visit the hospital daily.
Your donations will go directly to the hospital to improve their capacity to handle such large number of patients, including improving their infrastructure for more space, better machines, better facilities, as well as more resources to sponsor the very underprivileged patients.In addition, a small portion will go to fund education fees and expenses for Sapna & her siblings for many years to come.
We invite you to join us in assisting the cancer patients by making a donation, any small sum of money will mean alot to the patients and will take an incredible weight of their shoulders.
About SYML - Flags
Flags is a documentary-music video for artist SYML. His song tells a personal story of losing a loved one to Cancer. For this film, we documented the real journey of a10 year-old patient in her fight against blood cancer. Her name is Sapna, which means ‘dream’ in Hindi. A name given to her to inspire her to chase her dreams, but instead she is currently fighting to beat cancer. Each week she takes an 8 hour overnight train journey in order to reach a hospital where treatment is affordable.
We were so moved by our experience in India, that we created this platform to help provide assistance to this community. A portion of every “Flags” sale, stream and video will also be donated to this fund.
Through Sapna's story and the Cancer Assistance platform, we hope to create awareness and give people all over the world who are suffering from cancer the strength to keep fighting.
For more information about FLAGS, please visit studiobirthplace.com/flags