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Indian-origin cancer patient awarded PhD in an early convocation held by Canadian University

Several people came to show their support and pride towards Dsouza. Her extended family from Toronto, India and the US were there so was her immediate family. Jadyn, her 15 year old daughter stood by her like a rock.

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Precilla Veigas DSouza,an Indian origin cancer patient receives her PhD, Source- Screenshot from youtube
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New Delhi, May 18, 2017- Allen Saunders once said, “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” The quote, though an age old, keeps its significance till date. Life doesn’t actually happens as we plan it to be. It consists of several surprises and sometimes disappointments too.

The same happened with Precilla Veigas Dsouza, who was diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer when she was halfway through her PhD in medical science at the University of Toronto.

The doctor had told Dsouza that she could survive at best for a year if aided by chemotherapy. Dsouza accepted the challenge posed by life and fought this fatal disease to complete her PhD in the next six weeks. Dsouza had already completed 80% of her dissertation work when she was diagnosed with the disease.

The University held a special convocation for her on May 9, 2017, a month before their usual June celebrations, to mark her achievement, showing a rare gesture.

In an open letter published in Hindustan Times, Veigas said,”I fear I may not survive another four weeks to see my June convocation. “ The 45 year old woman who has been a gifted student had always nurtured the dream of doing a PhD which could not be fulfilled in the earlier years of her life due to the trying circumstances.

Born in Karnataka, she moved to Dubai in 1997 after getting married but her dream followed her everywhere. She wrote in the letter “Even though my husband was doing well in his career, I was not happy. I was haunted by a longing to fulfill my dream of doing a PhD.”

Her dreams began to take shape when they shifted to Canada in 2003. She was given the permission to work on a pilot programme and got a job volunteering in a reputed hospital in 2005after which she also got a volunteer role in a clinical research organisation.

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She was also offered a full time job but she turned it down to pursue further education in clinical research. Dsouza applied both at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, as well as at Humber College in Toronto to get two post-graduate certificates in clinical research.

Her gruelling hard work soon paid off as she became coordinator of a groundbreaking clinical study, involving more than 74 hospitals, and that required collecting data on cardiac arrest and trauma patients, who were in the danger of bleeding to death. Her fascinating work soon convinced Dr Sandro Rizoli, who would later be her supervisor, to accept her as a PhD candidate in 2012 at the Faculty of Medicine in University of Toronto.

However, she was struck by tragedy in 2015 when she was diagnosed with cancer. Dsouza is fighting the disease very bravely and now when she has received her coveted degree, her joy knows no bounds.

Several people came to show their support and pride towards Dsouza. Her extended family from Toronto, India and the US were there so was her immediate family. Jadyn, her 15 year old daughter stood by her like a rock. In her one of her interviews, Veigas acknowledged the great strength she derives from her family. Veigas said, “I’ve always had very strong support.”

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Her work has helped treating trauma patients by matching them to the most effective blood products for transfusion at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto.
She also wrote, “I am also so happy to leave a legacy for my daughter, Jadyn, to find the strength to achieve her own life goals,”
Veigas hopes to become inspiration for others and encourages everyone to follow their dreams.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram, Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

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India, Canada Pledge To Fight Terrorism In All Forms

Modi and Trudeau also welcomed the agreement on a bilateral Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism that was signed between the two countries

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India Canada pledges to fight terrorism of all kinds together. Facebook
India Canada pledges to fight terrorism of all kinds together. Facebook
  • India and Canada pledged to fight terrorism in all its forms
  • Modi and Trudeau also agreed on the Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
  • Both the countries are looking forward to a cooperative future

India and Canada on Friday pledged to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations while declaring that no country should allow its territory to be used for terrorist and violent extremist activities.

The assertion by the two countries came in a joint statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau and assumes significance in the context of perceived softness on the part of Canada towards Khalistani separatists operating on its soil.

India and Canada pledged to fight terrorism together. www.affairscloud.com
India and Canada pledged to fight terrorism together. www.affairscloud.com

“Recognising that terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation to violence present acute challenges to global peace, stability and prosperity, the leaders resolved to combat terrorism and violent extremism in all their forms and manifestations,” the joint statement said.

“They called for bringing terrorists to justice and holding accountable state sponsors of terrorism, including cross-border terrorism. They further emphasised that no country should allow its territory to be used for terrorist and violent extremist activities.”

Modi and Trudeau also welcomed the agreement on a bilateral Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism that was signed between the two countries.

The Framework recognised the urgent imperative to disrupt recruitment, terrorist movements and the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, address the threat posed by cross-border and state-sponsored terrorism, stop sources of terrorist financing, dismantle terrorist infrastructure and prevent the supply of arms to terrorists and counter violent extremism and radicalisation to violence.

The two sides emphasised the need to deny operating space to terrorist and violent extremist groups.

Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism was signed between the two countries. Wikimedia Commons
Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism was signed between the two countries. Wikimedia Commons

Under the Framework, both sides committed to further develop exchanges and facilitate effective cooperation in the fields of security, finance, justice, and law enforcement, including, where appropriate, at the operational level.

Also Read: ‘Vanakkam!’ Tweets Canadian PM: Justin Trudeau Joins over 200,000 People at the Biggest Tamil Diaspora Festival in Toronto

It consists of institutionalised cooperation between the National Security Council Secretariat of India and the office of Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Advisor, and regular exchanges and coordination between India and Canada, which will be guided by the joint National Security Advisors’ Dialogue.

The joint statement further said that to reaffirm the importance of lawful commerce and the freedom of navigation and over-flight throughout the Indo-Pacific region, in accordance with international law, including the rights and jurisdiction of states under UN Convention for Law of the Sea (Unclos), the two leaders supported bolstering regional connectivity through transparent development of infrastructure and use of responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the rule of law and environment.

Modi and Trudeau also expressed “strong concern” over the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan and the recent political developments in the Maldives and their implications for free society.

The Two Countries will work together towards peace.
The Two Countries will work together towards peace.

On the economic side, both leaders agreed to realise the full potential of bilateral trade and investment and both sides will renew efforts to expand and diversify bilateral economic and commercial relations.

“They will also intensify negotiations to finalise a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and a Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement,” the statement said. Modi and Trudeau also agreed to strengthen bilateral and international cooperation to address climate change and secure a clean energy future and committed to promoting the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“The leaders welcomed the initiative to establish the (India-initiated) International Solar Alliance to promote renewable energy for sustainable development,” the statement said. “They urged research institutions and industry in both countries to collaborate to promote greater use of solar technology.”

Also Read: India and Canada to Jointly Issue Two Sets of Diwali Themed Postal Stamps

It stated that the two leaders “underscored the importance of accelerating the global transition to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy sources and acknowledged that renewable energy is a pathway to a low-carbon and more sustainable energy system”.

“Recognising the dynamic role of people-to-people ties in the India-Canada partnership, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to address consular issues of mutual concern through discussion between the concerned officials,” the statement said. “They welcomed the expansion of direct air connectivity between Indian and Canadian cities.” IANS