Chennai/UNI: Doyen of cancer care and Adyar Cancer Institute Chairperson and renowned oncologist Dr V Shanta died at a private hospital early this morning.
She was 93.
Dr Shanta, who shared a close rapport with late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, was rushed to Apollo Hospital late last night after she complained of breathing problems and discomfiture in the heart.
But attempts to remove a block in a blood vessel failed and she breathed her last at around 3:55 am..
Her body was kept at the Cancer Institute’s old building where people from various walks of life paid their last respects.
On behalf of the Tamil Nadu government, health secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan placed a wreath on the mortal remains of Dr Shantha and paid his last respects.
A recipient of several awards including the Ramon Magsaysay award and Padma Vibhushan, Dr Shanta had dedicated herself to making affordable cancer treatment accessible for all.
Hailing from a family of Nobel laureates, CV Raman and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Dr Shanta was an alumna of Madras Medical College.
She joined the Cancer Institute in 1955 and rose from being a resident doctor to becoming the Chairman of the same.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to offer his condolences and said he was saddened by her death.
He said, ''Dr V Shanta will be remembered for her outstanding efforts to ensure top quality cancer care. The Cancer Institute at Adyar, Chennai is at the forefront of serving the poor and downtrodden.''
''I recall my visit to the Institute in 2018. Saddened by Dr. V Shanta’s demise. Om Shanti'', Modi said.
Dr. V Shanta will be remembered for her outstanding efforts to ensure top quality cancer care. The Cancer Institute at Adyar, Chennai is at the forefront of serving the poor and downtrodden. I recall my visit to the Institute in 2018. Saddened by Dr. V Shanta’s demise. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/lnZKTc5o3d— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 19, 2021
Condoling her death, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in a statement said the mortal remains of Dr Shanta will be laid to rest with full police honours.
Paying rich tributes to her, he said that this was a way to honour her selfless service.
He recalled that she had joined the Cancer Institute in 1955, and served in several key posts.
Due to her selfless service, she obtained support from various quarters, improved the institute that was started with 12 beds with advanced facilities, thereby providing free and advanced care for poor cancer patients.
Dr Shanta took up several research projects on cancer and created awareness on the need for regular screening for cancer detection among the public.
Her service to medicine earned praise at the global level, he said.
In 2013, former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had presented her with the ‘Avvaiyar Award’, he said.
The CM lauded the institute’s humanitarian approach that provided free treatment not only for poor patients in Tamil Nadu but also for those from other States.
Her passing away is a great loss to the medical fraternity and to the state of Tamil Nadu, Palaniswami said.