CHENNAI: For close to two decades, Punjab has had the highest rate of cancer in India. It is so steep that the state launched Mukhya Mantri Punjab Cancer Raahat Kosh Scheme last year to provide financial assistance to those suffering from it.
Gaganjeet Bhullar has been doing his bit for this cause. The Arjuna awardee golfer has been conducting yearly cancer check-up camps in Kandila, a small village in Gurdaspur district that he’s adopted. Gaganjeet Bhullar Foundation has a tie-up with Roko Cancer Charitable Trust to carry out the camps.
“Over the last three or four years, we have not found a single patient in Kandila and surrounding villages,” said Bhullar from Kapurthala, his hometown. “We give free medication to anybody who is suffering from blood pressure, diabetes, and other lifestyle diseases. Around 1500 to 1700 people come for that two-day camp.”
Donating 3,200 reading glasses, helping youngsters with educational expenses and providing food to needy are a few things Bhullar’s done. In 2019, Bhullar also installed a RO water-purifier at a school in Kandila.
The 32-year-old has plans to set up a clinic or a small hospital in the village. “I’m already in touch with the government to provide generic medical help. You need permission before you start any clinic. All the paperwork might take a year.”
To meet these expenses, Bhullar started raising funds three years ago in California, where he’s based. Part of Sacramento Lions Club, he gets 50 per cent of the foundation’s funding — approximately `4.5 lakh per year — from it. The other half comes from his pocket.