With Generation Next and so very proud of them . Meet Pranay Jain who has just joined a Master’s Program in MIT and Ajey Pandey who just Graduated and donated his Graduation Party to #ChaiforCancer. The Adda at Jaya Pandey his Mom’s gracious and love filled home . Ajey read out his Graduation speech and Pranay in what turned out to be the most appropriate gesture spoke representing the community of advocates who benefit from the fundraiser : here is what they shared :
Thank you all for coming to this Chai for Cancer adda, a project by the Max Foundation to help people in India battling chronic myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Thank you to Viji Venkatesh for spearheading this wonderful effort, and thank you to my mother, Jaya Pandey, for hosting this adda. We should do this more often. I do drink a lot of chai.
You may have heard that is a replacement for my graduation party–I think I should explain myself. When I heard about Chai for Cancer, I was thinking about planning my own graduation party. But then I realized: I don’t need graduation gifts. I have a comfortable life, I have a wonderful family, and I’m going to college. What more do I need? What more do I want?
Meanwhile, there are so many people struggling with cancer, fighting to keep their strength between rounds of chemotherapy, hoping the next treatment works better than the last one, questioning whether they’ll see their next birthday. They need help from their community more than I ever did and possibly more than I ever will. I’m not doing anything noble–I’m just telling the truth.
Among my peers, the noble thing to do is to “go cure cancer.” The height of honor is enshrined in glass laboratories, in cell research, DNA analysis, and drug manufacturing. That’s critical. But it’s not everything. Because cancer doesn’t simply exist in petri dishes–it affects people. We must also honor the doctors, caregivers, and community leaders who help those people, who give strength to patients and support for their loved ones.
Let’s drink to these wonderful people and all they do for cancer patients.
Whenever I visit an Indian household outside US, where several Indians have collected, the one topic of discussion that is ubiquitous is India; India’s bads; India’s goods. We all love talking about our country, because we all know there are problems, we have faced them ourselves and we are concerned. Now the fact is that India is a developing country. We are improving with time, and working very hard towards it. In India there are people like Viji Amma and her team at Friends of Max, who are bringing a change in a part of the country. They are closing the loop of healthcare for a certain set of people, and that is fantastic.
We, Indians here in US, have been fortunate to have come to this country, and to be able to earn our livings and have comfortable lives. I believe this also makes us responsible towards our country. We have the responsibility to support initiatives like that of Viji Amma, especially if we want to see a better country back home. This here, at Chai for Cancer, is a wonderful opportunity to start doing that. Let me emphasize, this is a responsibility. We don’t have to do this to feel good about ourselves, to say “I did something good for India”. We have to support such activities, and keep on supporting them.