Chennai: Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar, chairperson, Dr V Shanta, widely regarded as the doyen of cancer care in India, passed away early on Tuesday at the age of 93. Leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the senior oncologist who has won several national and international honours, including the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibushan and Ramon Magsaysay awards.
“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 Shanta’s demise. Om Shanti,” tweeted Modi.
In the evening, her mortal remains were cremated in Chennai with police honours, a rare recognition for a civilian from the medical field.
According to Cancer Institute authorities, Dr Shanta had complained of chest pain on Monday night following which she was rushed to the hospital. She died early in the morning.
Leaders and many of those, who were associated with Dr Shanta in her medical career spanning over 65 years, recalled that she was one of the most unassuming but accomplished doctors the country had ever known. She had strived throughout to provide the best of care for cancer patients. She made quality medical care affordable for poor cancer patients by charging only nominal sums from them.
Seeing her work, numerous philanthropists and organisations had come forward to donate liberally for the development of the Cancer Institute. Dr Shanta would often say that her mission in life was to ensure that cancer care reached everyone who needed it.