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.
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. pic.twitter.com/lnZKTc5o3d— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 19, 2021
Indian Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have also expressed their condolences.
With the sad demise of renowned oncologist Dr V Shanta, we have lost a great humanitarian.— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 19, 2021
As Chairwoman of the Cancer Institute at Adyar, Chennai, she championed the cause of providing health to those without wealth.
My deepest condolences to her family.y pic.twitter.com/ywP0kfXv4k
Dr. V Shanta, chairperson of the Adyar Cancer Institute is no more. Forever in service of the poor and needy, she lived in a room within the hospital premises, with the singular mission of cancer cure. A saint, no longer among us. 🙏🏽— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) January 19, 2021
Scientists and doctors are among those who have paid rich tributes to the noted oncologist, Dr V Shanta.
Condolences on the demise of India's famous Oncologist Dr V Shanta.— Rajnish Sharma 🇮🇳 (@rajnish1Midas) January 19, 2021
OM SHANTI pic.twitter.com/7S8klDYGQF
Dr. V. Shanta, Chairperson of the Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai passed away early this morning. She will be greatly missed by the cancer care and research community all over the world and the many tens of thousands of lives she has impacted. pic.twitter.com/dNq3iaTGvt— Principal Scientific Adviser, Govt. of India (@PrinSciAdvGoI) January 19, 2021