The Jain community has taken an exemplary initiative for the fight against breast cancer. A 1000 Jain sadhvis will become the brand ambassadors to spread awareness about the ailment. This initiative has been taken with the help of religious leaders and the Diverse Jain Sangh, Ahmedabad. During the screening of 220 sadhvis in Ahmedabad, early symptoms of breast cancer were found in 4. 1000 more sadhvis will go for a screening in the city.
The screening began from the Ambawadi Jain Sangh, Ahmedabad, and the facilitator of this campaign is the renowned cancer surgeon, Dr. Mukesh Bavishi. He has successfully completed breast surgeries of 12 Jain sadhvis. Earlier, the sadhvis were reluctant to go for screenings and had refused for the same, then, the matter was put forward by Dr. Bavishi to Praveenbhai Shah, the head of the Jain Federation, the main organization of 170 Jain sanghs, who then gave his consent to the screenings.
According to Dr. Bavishi, this is a matter of concern because the number of breast cancer cases in the country have increased till worrisome levels. 26 women out of every 1 lakh of them are falling prey to this disease. The situation has turned challenging after the year 2003, and even young ladies are suffering from it. Most vulnerable are those women who are unmarried, have not given birth to children, and those who cannot breastfeed their babies. Therefore, checkups at regular intervals are crucial.
An equally important role in commencing the initiative has been played by Dr. Bavishi’s wife, Dr. Vidula Bavishi. Dr. Vidula said that a sadhvi who she was closely related with, lost her life grappling with breast cancer, and that was when she pledged to make sure that not a single Sadhvi would have to go through the same suffering again. And in the month of July, with the help of her husband, she began with special mammography screenings for Jain sadhvis all across Gujarat.