Cancer patients from all across the country consider Mumbai as the best option for treatment. And each year, many school-going kids from different states are brought to the hospitals in the city to undergo treatment for the disease. The prolonged and painful treatment takes them away from their homes, often forcing them to miss months of school and fall behind in their studies. Taking cognizance of this problem, the BMC’s education department is planning to join forces with the NGO CanKids to set up a school for cancer-stricken children near Parel railway station.
The idea to prepare a separate school for these kids was conceived during Children’s Day celebrations last year, when BMC officials announced that the classes would be held in Jagannath Bhatankar Municipal School in Parel, and in the event that rooms weren’t available in the premises, the classes could be shifted to another municipal school on Sewri Cross Road at Kidwai Marg.
Mirza Baig, officer-in-charge of education at BMC, said, “We are undertaking this project under the guidance of the additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani. It was his idea to establish a separate school for cancer-stricken kids who are often deprived of proper school education. Therein lay the germ of the idea: why not to take one of our schools and earmark some of the classrooms specially for them? Many of the children come for treatment from other states, and have to stay in the city for treatment for long durations. The children will also feel better studying together with other kids who are undergoing treatment as well.
They will be given extra care, and will receive help with subjects like Maths, science and languages. These students can join the classes from June, and we will start their admission process as soon as the classrooms are ready for them. The NGO CanKids will bring these students for admission, irrespective of the board or state they hail from. They will have access to all the facilities that other students in BMC students get. That could include free uniforms, books, bags and shoes etc.”
Geeta More Patil, chief officer of the Public Partnership Cell in BMC’s Education department, said, “This is an excellent idea that the higher authorities in the BMC have thought of. These students have to stay away from their schools for a long time while they are being treated for their illness. So in order to help them keep abreast of their studies, the BMC is teaming up with an NGO.”