When it comes to curing cancer, vegetables play a crucial role. Physicians always instruct patients to give up meat and go for a vegetarian diet. Pratheeksha, a forum of cancer patients and survivors in Kozhikode, is set to use vegetables to cure cancer in a different way. The forum, in cooperation with the panchayat and the Agricultural Department, has developed a novel scheme in Perumanna grama panchayat as part of which organic kitchen gardens will be set up in the homes of cancer patients.
In the initial phase, organic kitchen gardens will be set up in the houses of 100 cancer patients in the panchayat. “The scheme can help the patients in three ways. The farming will provide relief to the cancer patients by making them mentally engaged. It will also offer them physical exercise, which plays an important role in curing cancer. After all, the patients, along with their family, can eat vegetables free of toxins. Besides, the kitchen gardens won’t cost them much and they won’t require a lot of time too,” says Pratheeksha patron and oncology expert Dr Narayanankutty Warrier. Twenty-five grow bags with organic vegetable plants will be delivered to each patient.
When Pratheeksha decided to take up the scheme, the panchayat authorities and organisations like Vithu Pathayam in Malappuram came forward with financial and technical support. The panchayat has allocated Rs 1,00,000 from the development and relief funds.
Citing that it is a unique mission, panchayat president Ahmed K says that they will provide all possible help. “After the cultivation is over, seeds and plants will be delivered to the beneficiaries in the second phase. In the coming years, the scheme will be extended to more patients,” says Ahmed K.
Meanwhile, the functionaries of Vithu Pathayam are glad to provide training and technical support to the mission. Bapputty K, a functionary and a resident of Makkaraparambu in Malappuram, says they provide instructions on vegetable farming. “We have already met the panchayat authorities and the Pratheeksha functionaries and expressed our interest in taking up the cause,” says Bapputty.
“It would be great if other local self-governing bodies and voluntary organisations across the state take up the mission. It is all about developing and sustaining a green culture,” Bapputty adds. Pratheeksha functionaries are confident that the scheme will emerge as an emulative one.
“We had planned the scheme as a state-level mission. But owing to the practical impediments we failed to accomplish the goal. But we are sure that more organisations will come forward to take up this initiative,” Dr Narayanankutty exudes confidence.