CHENNAI: Children stood by the 20-odd stalls centred around the various kinds of cancer that filled the Parmadevi Goyal Auditorium in Anna Adarsh College in Anna Nagar, chatting with those who approached their stall with ease. Models of the body, lungs, and mouth rested on tables and hand-drawn charts and posters were hung up on the walls.
The All aBout Cancer exhibition (ABC), held by Can Stop, a community service responsibility initiative of the Sundaram Medical Foundation, and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Madras, brought in students from 25 government and private schools to take part in a series of cancer-themed events to spread awareness. The students, who were from classes 8 to 12, took part in quiz, Tamil and English oration, painting, and skit competitions in the 20th edition of the exhibition.
The chief guest for the event was T Udhayachandran, secretary for the School Education Department, Government of Tamil Nadu.
“Students’ knowledge improves as they have to prepare a lot of content to set up the stalls. They learn about prevention, types of cancer, and how food habits affect their lives. They learn that it’s not ‘somebody’ having cancer, but their family and friends,” said Dr Lakshmi Narayana, assistant manager, Sundaram Medical Foundation.
The rolling trophy was won by Lady Andal School, after bagging the first prize in Tamil oration and quiz. “This is the first year after the rolling trophy was announced and our school won it. We’re very proud of ourselves. This is the first year I’m taking part in the event, although the school has participated for the last four years,” said Samyuktha Darira, a class 11 student from Lady Andal School.
The best stall prize was given to SBOA Junior College, for their unique and interactive stall on chain-smoking. The team of class 12 students had Shanlee Rebekah, Ishwarya S, and Harshini C. “We conducted a survey on the chain smokers in our neighbourhood. We found out that 4 in every 5 people smoke. The main reason for smoking they told us was it was a stress buster,” said Ishwarya. Her team members added that they would socially boycott anyone in their family who smoked, to make sure they quit.