Champions of the Commonwealth

Organised by Rizwan Javed (2017 Shared Scholar from India, MSc Transfusion & Transplantation Sciences, University of Bristol)

‘Champions of Commonwealth’ brought together patients who had undergone bone marrow transplants, their family members, nurses, doctors, laboratory staff and representatives from the TATA Medical Center to discuss the importance of connectedness in delivering medical treatment. Consultant, Dr Saurabh Bhave, spoke about the relevance of the Commonwealth to their work and invited Dr Mammen Chandy, Director of TATA Medical Center, Kolkata and Head of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the Institute to deliver the welcome address. Rizwan spoke about this year’s Commonwealth theme, ‘A Connected Commonwealth’ and its important message. Following this, children who had undergone cancer treatment performed ‘I have a dream’ from Les Misérables.

Ms Radhika Singh, Assistant Director British Council East and Northeast India, spoke on the contribution of Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK in furthering the interest of education and uniting the Commonwealth. Patients from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Yemen spoke about their experiences of travel and treatment. They acknowledged the contribution of doctors, nurses, and non-medical people from across the Commonwealth in supporting their treatment and recover. Mr Pranab Bedi from Project Life Force, an NGO which aims to make West Bengal a zero-blood deficit state, spoke about his work of motivating voluntary blood donors, who donate blood without ethnic and religious considerations. He spoke of how blood donation connects our Commonwealth and helps hundreds of patients. The event was also joined by Dr Niharendu Ghara, a consultant in Paediatric-Oncology, who spoke about how Commonwealth has influenced has influenced his life.

The vote of thanks was given by Dr Saurabh who conveyed heartfelt gratitude to the hospital administration, the British Council, and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK.

You can view photos from the event on Flickr

Photos on flickr

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