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Mother Teresa’s appeal is universal, says Chief of Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India

Currently, Indian Catholics have three native saints and besides the two canonizations in 2014, Sister Alphonsa was the first Indian to be canonised in 2008

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Mother Teresa, Wikimedia

Thiruvananthapuram, August 31, 2016: Mother Teresa’s appeal is universal- cutting across caste, creed and religious barriers, every individual can seek inspiration from her life, work and sacrifice, the head of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India(CBCI) has said.

“Her appeal is universal. Her life is a role model worth emulating, cutting across caste, creed or religion. Her sympathy and empathy for the poorest of the poor is what made her great and on September 4, her name and fame will reach greater heights,” Cardinal Moran Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, 57, popularly called Old Cleemis, said.

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In a chat with IANS, just before his departure to the Vatican to take part in the canonization rituals, Old Cleemis, who is the head of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church here, said he was delighted to be a part of the celebrations.

“Definitely, it’s a moment of personal joy that I am taking part in the canonization of the Mother, whom I have met,” he added.

Cleemis was part of the celebrations in 2014 when two native saints, Kuriakose Elias Chavara (Chavara Achen) and Sister Euphrasia (Evuprasiamma), were canonised.

He never had the opportunity to meet the two, but he proudly recalled his meeting with Mother Teresa. As a young theology student, he had briefly interacted with the Mother when she came to Kottayam in 1980 for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Malankara movement.

“She undoubtedly was the star of the moment and won the hearts of everyone through her gentle behaviour,” recalled Cleemis, who himself created a record of sorts by becoming India’s youngest cardinal in 2012.

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Currently, Indian Catholics have three native saints. Besides the two canonizations in 2014, Sister Alphonsa was the first Indian to be canonised in 2008.

Cleemis also pointed to great the honours that Mother had been conferred with- the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Bharat Ratna in 1980 and now this, the crowning glory, when she will be elevated as a saint.

“The greatness of the Mother is the way she took care of the poor and downtrodden by showing them mercy. The orphans should know that they are not alone as she has laid the path for many to follow and many have already taken up her cause,” Cleemis said. (IANS)

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    Nobody calls the Catholicos of the Malankara Syriac Catholic Church “Old Cleemis”.

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

Also Read- Push-ups Can Lower The Risk of Heart Diseases

Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)