PM’s wife, diplomats join Delhi walk on cancer threat (Lead)February 15th, 2009 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Over 3,000 people, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur, walked together in the national capital Sunday to create awareness about the growing threat of cancer in India.
‘Walk for Life’ - a 3.5-km walk organised by NGO CanSupport, was flagged off by Gursharan Kaur. Other prominent persons to join the march were US Ambassador to India David Mulford, his wife J. Mulford and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Brinda Karat amongst others.
Addressing the gathering before the flag-off, Gursharan Kaur said: “Even my relatives and friends have suffered from the disease, and besides financial support, the patients need emotional and social support”.
The prime minister’s wife, who has been associated with the walk since last year, said she was always willing to help those in need. “I also feel satisfied and honoured with my association,” she said.
Gursharan Kaur accompanied the participants for nearly a km and the Mulford couple made it a point to be a part of the walk till the end.
All participants wore identical T-shirts with slogans. The numerous notices on the ‘Wall of Honour’, put up at the start point, also bore testimony to the desire of many to express their solidarity with those affected.
A good number of participants in the walk also pinned paper sheets on the back of their T-shirt with the name of someone they knew who struggled with cancer they wish to honour.
The participants, of all age groups, were from various nationalities and backgrounds. Many cancer survivors as well as oncologists, besides hundreds of school children, participated.
However, media persons were kept at bay from the VIPs and numerous efforts made by reporters to inquire about the prime minister’s health went in vain due the strict security circle surrounding Gursharan Kaur.
“We have received an enormous response as compared to last year and more and more people are associating with us for the noble cause”, Bhavna Gurung of CanSupport told IANS.
The walk, intended to raise funds for CanSupport’s free palliative and supportive care services for cancer patients, started from Vinay Marg and after proceeding towards Shanti Path, wound its way back to the starting point.