Cancer Awareness Camp conducted at Majauli

Majauli, a natural paradise in the middle of the Brahmaputra river, which hosts an annual Ras Leela festival that attracts thousands from in and around the island, proved an ideal setting for a three-day cancer awareness camp.

ABOUT THE AREA

Majuli district is the biggest river island in the world in the Brahmaputra River and the first island in India to be made a district. Majuli, a natural paradise in the middle of the Brahmaputra river, covers an area of 352 square kilometres as in 2014, with a population of approximately 1,67,304 (2011). It has a diverse community of Mishing, Deori, Sonowal Kacharis, Ahom, Chutiya, Kalita, Brahmin, Keot, Sut etc.

Satras are institutional centres, which are the main attraction of the island,  and reflect the unique feature with the Eksarana tradition of Vaishnavism in Assam, founded by Shri Mantra Sankaradeva, the father of Assamese culture. These Satras are famous for Palnaam, Apsara dance, Raasleela, etc. The chief of a Satra is called as Satradhikar.

Majuli is also known for the  the annual Raas Leela festival performed on full moon day called Purnima in October-November during the autumn season, which attracts people from hundreds of miles away. It is part of the traditional story of Krishna described in Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavata Purana and the Gita Govinda, where he dances with Radha and her sakhis. In Majuli the Raas Leela of Lord Krishna is celebrated through the plays enacted by the devout. For the past several centuries, the people of Majuli have been paying their obeisance to Lord Krishna by enacting the Raas Leela themselves.

REPORT ON AWARENESS CAMP

During the Raas festival, Majuli becomes a veritable pilgrimage centre, with devotees thronging from far and near. The Assam Cancer Care Foundation initiated and organized an awareness camp on oral, breast and cervical cancer in collaboration with Uttar Kamalabari Swastha Seva Kendra and District Tobacco Control Cell, Majuli and Jorhat from November 22 to 24 2018 at Kamalakanta Ataa Khetra, Uttar Kamalabari Satra Majuli. The camp was successfully coordinated by Akash Pradhan with the support from Sri Sri Janardan Dev Goswami, Satradhikar of Uttar Kamalabari Satra.

The objective of this camp was to generate awareness among the people in Majuli about oral, breast and cervical cancer and with the greater interest of making Majuli as a tobacco-free district.

The main attractions of the camp were as follow:

  • Distribution leaflets on oral, breast and cervical s
  • Counselling to the general public about various risk factors, symptoms and preventive measures of cancer by ACCF team
  • Continuous playing of informative videos on cancer and other general awareness
  • Street plays and stage performances by Replica group about oral cancer
  • A small talk on breast cancer by the ACCF team

Sri Samiran Baruah, Food Safety Officer Majuli and Ex DNO Kamrup (m) and Dr Bhaktimay Bhattacharrya, DNO, District Tobacco Control Cell were also present in the camp in all the three days.

PROGRAM IMPACT

This awareness camp during the festival had a positiveimpact being the first ever educational camp on cancer during a Raas festival reaching the message on cancer to thousands.

  • 10,000 leaflets on oral, breast and cervical cancer were distributed by the ACCF team with the aid of NSS volunteer and local resources
  • Counselling to the general public about various risk factors, symptoms and preventive measures of cancer by ACCF team
  • Continuous screening of informative cancer related videos through TV and projector
  • Drama on ill effects of tobacco consumption and oral cancers to an audience of over 2,100 people 
  • A talk on breast cancer at a ladies gathering of about 1,000 people

FEED BACK

Feedbacks from different stakeholders

“It was a nice time we had during the campaign at Uttarkamolabari Satra of Majuli. The anti-cancer drive under your leadership was a successful one. It became more interesting and attractive with the participation of the drama team Replica. We also want to appreciate your efforts and selection of a Satra for the initiation of your anti-cancer drive at undivided Jorhat (Majuli) District as it will in turn reflect all over the Assam, as the Majuli is the spiritual capital of ASSAM and the Satras are the Heart of Hinduism in Assam. We think that the necessary socialistic revolution required to fight to achieve a primordial prevention against cancer can be easily achieved with and along with religious sentiments which we has been adopting for last few yrs. Thanks once again for our invitation and hope we will walk together in future also to achieve a milestone in anticancer drive in NE region.”

Dr Bhaktimay Bhattaharrya, District Tobacco Control Cell, Jorhat.

“I am very happy to say that during the Raas fesival at Majuli, on behalf of Assam Cancer Care Foundation (a Government of Assam and Tata Trust initiative), you have doing very good work at the venue of Uttar Kamalabari Satra Raas Coplex. Your excellent campaign to spread awareness among the people of Majuli on combatting breast, oral and cervical Cancer is highly appreciable. Definitely it will make a great impact in the near future particularly among the woman of Majuli. Apart from your effort towards spreading the message on breast, oral and cervical Cancer, your co-operation in connection with Anti-Tobacco campaigning with District Tobacco Control Cell, is highly appreciated. I expect more programmes in this connection from your side in the near future. My sincere thanks to Akash Pradhan, team in-charge, and to Kishore Barman, for their sincere efforts in ensuring the smooth functioning of the programme on all the days. I wish grand success of this campaigning to save the people from cancer in every district of Assam.”                                                                                           

Mr Samiran Baruah, Food Safety Officer Majuli.

“The awareness camp provided a good exposure to the people of Majuli, which helped them to understand the burden of cancer. The camp was conducted from morning to night in making the people aware of the various factors related to cancer. In future Assam Cancer Care Foundation should organized more camps like this one to create more awareness among the people of Majuli.”

Mr Dippu Dutta, Free Food distribution Department Uttar Kamalabari Satra Majuli

“I am very happy to say that the awareness camp done by team ACCF specially during the raas festival created a great impact of awareness about oral, breast and cervical cancer among the people out there. As there were a large gathering of people during Raas, the messages were distributed among the masses through leaflets and street plays. In addition to these, continuous video playing, showing short films about cancer created a great attraction for the pilgrims from different parts of Assam even to some outsiders of Assam. I think such camps will be very helpful for the people from remote areas who are not so aware about the disease.”

Ms Mayuri, Majuli College Student

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