09:17 GMT25 February 2021
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    Dr V Shanta belonged to the distinguished Chandrasekhar family of Chennai. Two members of the family, Sir C.V. Raman and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, are Nobel Prize winners for their work in the field of physics.

    Dr V Shanta, an Indian oncologist, considered to be the doyen of cancer care has passed away. She died on Tuesday in Chennai, the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu. V Shanta was 93. 

    The 93-year-old oncologist was credited with making quality cancer treatment accessible to all patients across India.

    Dr Shanta headed Chennai's Adyar Cancer Institute, a non-profit cancer treatment and research centre, and worked tirelessly to change the perception of hopelessness and misery around cancer, while stressing the need for early detection of the disease.

    Having been unwell for the last two days, she complained of chest pain last night and was rushed to a hospital where a failed attempt was made to remove a blockage in a blood vessel.

    Conferred with India's second-highest civilian honour Padma Vibhushan, Dr Shanta was part of several national and international health committees including the World Health Organisation's Advisory Committee on Health.

    Her mortal remains are being kept at the Adyar Cancer Institute that she helped to develop from a 12-bed cottage hospital in 1955 to a sprawling 535-bed complex with a research division, a college of oncological sciences, and a division of preventive oncology.

    She worked out a pay model for the hospital so that only 40 percent are paid beds, with the remainder being general beds, where patients are boarded and lodged free of cost. 

    Her passing is being mourned by a lot of people, including the top leadership of the country. Many people are taking to Twitter to pay their respects to the departed doctor.

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi even sent out condolences over Dr V Shanta's death, while remembering her great efforts in ensuring top quality cancer care for all.

    ​Indian Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have also expressed their condolences.

    ​Scientists and doctors are among those who have paid rich tributes to the noted oncologist, Dr V Shanta. 

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