‘Pink mask’ distribution launched in rural Telangana


The Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation & KIMS-Ushalakshmi Centre for Breast Cancer has embarked on innovative pink ribbon mask campaign in Telangana.

The campaign is not only aimed at ensuring protection from Covid-19 in rural Telangana but also to create awareness about importance of early detection of breast cancer through the “pink’ coloured cloth masks. Pink colour represents breast cancer awareness.

Under the campaign inaugurated by Finance Minister Harish Rao, 20,000 masks were distributed to residents in all the 10 villages in Narayanraopet mandal of Siddipet district

The villages included Ibrahimpur, which has been adopted by Dr P. Raghu Ram, director Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation & KIMS-Ushalakshmi Centre.

“I applaud Dr Raghu Ram for his relentless and significant contribution to his adopted village, Ibrahimpur over the past six years. His noble goal through this campaign is to protect women from Covid-19 and create awareness about early detection of breast cancer,” Rao said.

He noted that this is the first of its kind initiative being undertaken in the state and perhaps in the country. The Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) Self Help Group (SHG) from Nandigama mandal in Ranga Reddy District have made these masks that were commissioned by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation, which has also provided the much needed additional income to at least 100 SHG members from SERP through this initiative.

Dr Raghu Ram voiced concern that Covid infections and deaths were rising at an alarming rate in rural India, which has limited healthcare infrastructure and where more than 70 per cent of population resides. The eminent breast cancer surgeon hoped that this unique preventive campaign will provide much-needed protection from Covid-19 infection, and equally, actively encourage people from rural areas of Telangana to wear a mask, which is one of the fundamental pillars of protection against Covid-19.

“The Covid pandemic has taken a huge toll on cancer treatment in the Country. Breast cancer is the commonest cancer-affecting women in India. Due to Covid-19 crisis, there has been a steep fall in the number of women meeting their doctors for initial assessment. With more than 60 per cent already presenting in advanced stages with poor survival, this percentage will increase manifold with the current unfortunate scenario in the country,” he said.

In order to make a wider impact and reach out to residents in some 90 villages in Siddipet constituency, Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation is seeking support from those who would be willing to contribute to this campaign. It costs Rs 20 to make a multilayer cloth mask. To contribute, one can call the Foundation representative @ +91-9100903781. The Foundation has 80G Certification and donations would benefit from tax exemption.”

“There is enormous fear amongst the people in villages about Covid-19. On behalf of residents of Ibrahimpur village, I am deeply grateful to Dr Raghu Ram for this yet another timely initiative in his adopted village,” said Yella Reddy, Sarpanch of Ibrahimpur village.