March 13 2014 Latest news:
Francesca Elliott, Reporter
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Two Ilford men will be running three mini marathons this winter in aid of an Indian cancer charity.
Gurpal Oppal and Kulwant Dhaliwal will run 6km of the Delhi Marathon on December 15, 6km of the Mumbai Marathon on December 19 and 6km of the Dubai Marathon on January 24, all on behalf of the Roko ‘Stop Cancer’ Campaign.
Roko Cancer was founded by Ajinder Pal Singh Chawla in 2001 from his home in London, after his wife died from breast cancer at a young age.
It grew and in 2005 it was launched at the House of Commons. Its aim is to bring awareness of breast cancer to impoverished women living in rural and semi-urban areas of India; many of whom are unaware of the disease or believe in myths and stigmas that prevent the condition being talked about.
Gurpal and Kulwant have already completed a number of runs and helped raise the profile of the organisation, which to date has screened around 300,000 people in India.
Dr Hemani Chanderkar, of Kolahpur, India, works with Roko Cancer. “Diagnosis can be so taboo that in some parts of Indian culture if it’s discovered it can cause a woman to become an outcast,” he said.
Gurpal added: “Roko Cancer’s team of doctors are doing all that they can but they’re dealing with the tip of a very large iceberg. We are so proud to be associated with this charity which has opened the first cancer hospital in Punjab – a feat that not even the Punjab Government was able to accomplish. So I hope that my efforts will inspire people to give generously. No-one should die of fear but that sadly is the situation for many.”
For more information and to sponsor the pair, visit www.rockocancer.org