A person who has experienced pain and grief can truly understand the sufferings of others. And such people can lend a supporting hand to numerous others witnessing the same hardships. Their courage and determination surely make an impact on other’s lives. One such set of people are ‘The Fighters Group Trust’.
Formed in 2017, The Fighters Group Trust is an organization set up by the cancer survivors of Bargarh district. Bargarh also known as a cancer prone district is worst hit in Odisha by various types of cancer.
“Seeing the increasing number of cancer patients in Bargarh, some cancer survivors came together. On May 8, 2017, we officially formed The Fighters Group. We do not want other victims to suffer the same as we have.”Arjun Seth, Joint Secretary of The Fighters Group Trust
Although Bargarh is a less developed area, but the interest and determination of the survivors, have undertaken many awareness programs. This has given a special identity to The Fighters Group Trust.
Every year The Fighters Group Trust organizes Cancer Screen Test and Cancer Awareness Campaigns at different blocks of the district on the occasion of National Cancer Awareness Day. Similarly, the group also celebrated Breast cancer Awareness month last October in a digital platform. More than 15,000 women across the state and country participated in the campaign. The Trust also celebrates National Cancer Survivors Day to boost the morale of the survivors.
Apart from that, The Fighters Group Trust is taking up various advocacy programs to make a meaningful impact among the cancer community. Such as Cancer Awareness & Education, Patient Support Services, Advocating for Access to Healthcare, Cancer Research Funding, Promoting Healthy Lifestyles, Supporting Legislation for Patient Rights, Survivorship Programs, Awareness Campaigns for Specific Cancer Types, Partnerships & Collaborations and Policy Advocacy.
“We as survivors understand the sufferings of a cancer patient and his family. How patients end up their lives due to mental, physical and financial pressures. Having witnessed such adversities, ourselves we voluntarily came forward to provide Cancer Care Support. We also want patients to realize that cancer is not the end of life, it is curable in most of the cases.”Biswajit Barik, General Secretary of the Trust
The poor health condition and family responsibilities often weaken the patients mentally and morally, again the fear and hesitation of being identified as a cancer patient is an added agony. Hence, a lot of patients prefer to stay quiet on the issue and suffer silently.
“Finding an alternate to such problems, The Fighters Group Trust organized a six-day long motivational workshop “Designing an Alternative Life” from November 25 to November 30, 2022. Here, the volunteers of Art of Living attempted to inspire these cancer survivors and patients through a series of planned workshops.”Prasanna Mishra, President of The Fighters Group Trust
Through the years, the Trust has been extending financial and logistics support to various cancer patients for treatment at hospitals such as Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, Acharya Harihara Cancer Hospital in Cuttack and AIIMS in Bhubaneswar. The Trust is also financially supported by multiple donors.
Keeping the alarming condition of Bargarh in mind, The Fighters Group Trust initiated a demand for a cancer hospital in the district. Having a cancer hospital in the district will provide a relief to the patients and the family members from traveling to far off places for treatment.
“All political parties and most of the voluntary organizations of Bargarh district came forward with the feeling of justification of our demand. United Forum for Cancer Hospital was formed with many voluntary organizations of Bargarh district including The Fighters Group. In 2021, the Government accepted our demand and implemented the decision to set up a cancer hospital in Bargarh. It is a great achievement for The Fighters Group Trust. Currently, the hospital is under construction in Bargarh”.Aswini Kumar Darjee, Chairman, The Fighters Group Trust
A fighter continues to fight but it is his believe that truly makes a difference,” said Minati Pati, Vice President of The Fighters Group Trust.
Over the years, the hard work and dedication of The Fighters Group Trust has been a strong support for many of the cancer patients in the district and has been able to ease their struggles. With their continuous efforts, the trust is able to bring a positive change in the lives of cancer patients and survivors. Our team heartily appreciates such selfless efforts and urges citizens to come together and support The Fighters Group Trust.