ImPaCCT Foundation, Tata Memorial Centre along with Duhita Foundation is organizing Nabhaangan 2024 – a Sports Fest for Children with Cancer

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 13: On the 13th and 14th of April, 2024, Mumbai is witnessing a unique and inspiring endeavor by ImPaCCT Foundation, Tata Memorial Centre along with Duhita Foundation (NGO). The event is set to be a celebration of resilience and hope, featuring 250 participants including children who have recovered from cancer, those who are on maintenance, and children with thalassemia. Sponsored by Luke Coutinho, the two-day event to be hosted at MCGM’s Andheri Sports Complex, will begin with a small rally by the Bombay Bikers’ Association and an Olympic- style torch-lighting opening ceremony. Alongside this, children from the hospital will sing the title song to kick off the sporting extravaganza. Nabhaangan will see Luke Coutinho, actor Suniel Shetty and Dr. Shinde (Addl. Municipal Commissioner – Health & Western Suburbs) in attendance. “We know that sports is an important component of physical and mental health. Therefore, we want to introduce sports to children being treated at the Tata Memorial Centre. When these children go home and join school, they carry on with healthy habits and spread the message to their friends.” Nabhaangan is an event to promote healthy living and identify talent in children affected with Cancer. We have organized a two-day sports festival for all the cancer hospital in the city of Mumbai with a vision to hold a Pan-India sports meet in the near future.” – Dr. Shripad Banavali (Director, Academics, Tata Memorial Centre).

“Childhood cancer is curable. At Tata Memorial Centre we have made great strides in delivering the best treatment for our children with cancer. With a holistic view, we have been able to meet all components of treatment. We have given them a home away from home during their cancer treatment which can last from 6 months to 2 years. With our ImPaCCT model, the number of families that abandon treatment have gone down to less than 2.5% over the past several years. The holistic care includes focusing on mental and physical well-being as this makes the cancer journey of the child, a happy and memorable one. Over the years we have incorporated informal education, dance, music, art and craft. The child has a very busy schedule in the hospital, and this make the children look forward to come to the hospital every day! We are now adding sports to this curriculum!” – Shalini Jatia (Officer-in-charge, ImPaCCT Foundation, Tata Memorial Centre).

“We not only cure their cancer; but take this opportunity to identify their hidden talent and enable them to go beyond their horizon. Through ‘Nabhaangan’ and we want them to explore their sporting talent and leap towards the stars.” – Dr. Chetan Dhamne (Professor, Pediatric Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital).

There comes a moment in life when, suddenly, life takes an unexpected turn. For us, that moment came on June 7, 2014. Our darling Duhita, took her last bow and exited from life’s stage. We thought of how her exuberance could be a role model for children suffering from cancer and within a year DUHITA FOUNDATION was born. “The trust is dedicated to providing moral and educational support to paediatric cancer patients during their long stay away from home. We endeavor to motivate and encourage patients to keep a positive outlook toward life and education, during treatment. We are partnering with the TMC to host the sports fest “Nabhaangan” which means “rising to the sky from the child’s first playground.” – Nitin Save, Founder Trustee, Duhita Foundation.

Speaking about the initiative, Suniel Shetty said, “This groundbreaking endeavour is a celebration of resilience, and I can’t wait to watch our young heroes compete in various sporting events. That’s not all. They’re also getting the opportunity to be mentored by national-level athletes and truly use this platform to enjoy the spirit of play while learning at the same time.” In a country where approximately 70,000 childhood cancer cases are diagnosed every year and only around 25,000 manage to access hospital care, this event is not just a celebration. It is also a reminder that awareness is vital for us to collectively live up to ImPaCCT Foundation’s motto – ‘No child in India should go untreated’.

Additionally, the participants of the inaugural edition also include children who have won national sporting medals in the past. With nine games planned and the field set for rehearsals, this is the first such event by ImPaCCT Foundation, with plans to expand to a national level in the years to come. Luke Coutinho talked about the far-reaching impact of Nabhaangan, saying, “This issue has been very close to my heart, since we have been working with children and adults with cancer for a long time. We understand the importance of exercise, and the right kind of exercise, during the course of the treatment. It’s a great initiative by the ImPaCCT foundation to put this sports event together and provide hope and community to the children. I look forward to seeing a lot of support for this event, and feel that this is an extremely important step for us to take in the realm of cancer care.” With a focus on holistic care and better lives for children with cancer as well as those who have survived cancer, the event’s poignant message goes a long way in increasing public engagement with the foundation. This will not only promote curability, but will also open up the discourse on quality of life for children with and recovering from cancer.

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