Saviour of many a lives, veteran Oncologist, Dr V Shanta, head of the Adyar Cancer Institute died this morning at 3.55 AM in Chennai at the age of 93.
One of the senior most oncologists in the country, Dr. V Shanta was rushed to Apollo Hospital after she complained of breathlessness. The doctors noticed a block in one of the blood vessels and they attempted to remove the same. Unfortunately, the death came soon. Respecting her decades long services, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that she be given state funeral with police honours.
Taking up the position of Resident Medical Officer at the Adyar Cancer Institute six years ago, Dr. Shanta has ever since extended yeoman service. Born on March 11, 1927, Dr. Shanta completed her MBBS from the Madras Medical College in 1949 and further specialised in Genecology and Obstetrics.
Always known for her providing quality and affordable cancer treatment, Dr. Shanta ensured the treatment is given to the needy across the country. She has done yeoman service by dedicating herself to the mission of offering care for patients suffering from cancer, study of the disease, study on the prevention of the disease and cure, in addition to the spreading awareness about the dreaded disease that kills thousands of people in the country. What’s more Dr. Shanta’s dedicated work had her win several accolades including Magsasay Award, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award conferred by the Government of India. She hails from distinguished family that has produced two Nobel Laureates such as Sir CV Raman, who is her grand uncle and S Chandrasekar, who is Dr Shanta’s uncle. Born in Mylapore in Chennai, Dr. Shanta pursued her scooling from National Girls High School (Presently Lady Sivaswami Ayyar Girls Higher Secondary School). Right from her birth, she yearned to become a doctor. Dr. Shanta completed her MBBS from Madras Medical College, two years after India gained independence and completed her DGO in 1952. Three years later she pursued her post graduation in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy established the Cancer Institute way back in 1954. At that time, when Shanta was about to complete her MD, she passed the Public Service Commission examination and was posted to the Women and Children Hospital. When the practice back then for the women doctors was to take up jobs in obstetrics and gynecology, and when Dr. Shanta chose to join the Adyar Cancer Institute, many of her family members were terribly upset with her decision. When she joined the Cancer Institute, it was in a nascent stage and it was just 12-bed cottage, so to say. The hospital was housed in just a solitary building, with bare minimum equipment. Along with her, there was one more doctor by name Krishnamurthy available at the hospital. After serving the hospital as honorary staff, with a monthly honorarium of Rs.200, with accommodation given in the hospital itself. How many people have done so like Dr. Shanta, who is a long term player. After moving into the Adyar Cancer Institute on April 13, 1955, she has never moved out of it till she breathed her last. For, such is the kind of commitment Dr. Shanta had.