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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 161-162

The Holy city - Varanasi: On the path of 'moksha' to cancer cure

Department of Medical Oncology, HBCH/MPMMCC, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission31-Dec-2019
Date of Acceptance31-Dec-2019
Date of Web Publication24-Feb-2020

Correspondence Address:
Abhishek Kumar Singh
Department of Medical Oncology, HBCH/MPMMCC, Varanasi - 221 002, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_130_19

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How to cite this article:
Singh AK, Gupta A, Singh A. The Holy city - Varanasi: On the path of 'moksha' to cancer cure. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:161-2

How to cite this URL:
Singh AK, Gupta A, Singh A. The Holy city - Varanasi: On the path of 'moksha' to cancer cure. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 4];3:161-2. Available from: http://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2020/3/1/161/279089

I have read the article entitled 'Posting in Varanasi: A blessing in disguise' by Boppana and Vora[1] and I want to congratulate the authors for beautifully narrating their experience in Varanasi as well as the challenges they faced during their posting at the upcoming cancer center of Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH, Mumbai), i.e. Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital.

Before I make any comment, I want to emphasize what Varanasi (also known as Banaras or Kashi) is to the world. It is regarded as one of the seven holy cities (Sapta Puri), which can provide 'moksha', i.e. liberation of the soul.[2] Mark Twain in his book 'Following The Equator: A Journey Around the World' (1897) quoted, “Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”[3] Reverend Charles Phillips Cape in his book 'Benaras, the stronghold of Hinduism' (1909) wrote, “Benaras (Varanasi) was famous before Rome was known, and for many centuries has claimed and gained the homage of every devout Hindu. It is the Oxford and Mecca of Hinduism. Its river, its temple, its banks, are known and revered throughout India. Its very air and soil are counted holy.”[4]

I joined as faculty the same time when the authors had their residency posting at HBCH, Varanasi. The mere announcement of a cancer institute by TMH was a great relief for the people in and around Varanasi. Now patients from this region, who might not have any place to stay or any relative to accompany them to TMH, Mumbai, could have an easily accessible state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility in their own city. Being a native of this region and having the initial educational connection with Varanasi, I was prepared for the challenges which might occur in the new establishment. But, I think these are the challenges which any new facility would witness, such as challenges to train the staff; to build a rapport with colleagues, nursing staff, administrative staff; to break the egos; and to establish the diagnostic and radiological services. In addition, we had the challenge to start another even bigger cancer institute, i.e. Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Centre (MPMMCC) in Varanasi.

I must say that the initial days were tough for those who did not have any previous connection to this city, but that was due to the commissioning challenges of a new establishment and also because of adjustment issues of the staff to a new city, apart from their family. Those who were from this region, like me, did not face any adjustment issues and apart from that we had a basic idea of the common problems of this region. Because of the hard work of everyone from all departments; now even The Holy City has two fully functional cancer institutes, i.e. HBCH and MPMMCC, under the flagship of 'The Holy Institute for cancer patients' - TMH and we are happy to be serving humankind.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Boppana M, Vora CS. Posting in Varanasi: A blessing in disguise. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2019;2:209-11.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Garuda Puran XVI, 114. The Garuda Purana, by Ernest Wood and S.V. Subrahmanyam, [1911].  Back to cited text no. 2
Twain M. Following the Equator: A Journey around the World. Hatford, Connecticut: American Pub. Co.; 1897.  Back to cited text no. 3
Phillips Cape C. Benaras, The Stronghold of Hinduism. Ch. 1. Boston: The Borham Press; 1909. p. 15.  Back to cited text no. 4


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