Swaraj Tractors, a part of the USD 19.4 billion Mahindra Group, has announced key impact-related figures for the Mahindra Mobile Primary Health & Cancer Care Project that it has been running in Punjab for nearly six years now. The project is functional in 157 villages across three districts of Punjab: namely Bathinda, Patiala and SAS Nagar. Its objective is to enable urgent action through early-stage cancer detection, screening and diagnosis to improve cancer patients’ chances of survival. Cancer-awareness camps, cancer-screening camps and primary healthcare OPDs are the three components of this project, in addition to providing palliative care. Three well-equipped mobile OPD vans have also been commissioned under this project.

As per the latest announcement, the project has had over 95,000 beneficiaries in Punjab. The company spokesperson informs CauseBecause that the beneficiaries include individuals who have used the services of the mobile OPDs for general and seasonal ailments, participated in the cancer awareness and screening camps, and received palliative care.                

Swaraj Tractors along with its NGO partner Global Cancer Concern, India, have conducted over 1,000 OPDs till now. The company has formally not tied up with any hospital for the project but after screening they refer suspected cancer patients to PGI Chandigarh, Advanced Cancer Institute in Bathinda, Rajindra Civil Hospital in Patiala, and Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital in Sangrur for further investigation and treatment. Over 400 terminally ill patients have received palliative care, with 172 cancer patients currently registered for this service.

Responding to CB’s queries, the spokesperson says that a major challenge for the implementation team has been persuading villagers to undergo cancer screening. There are also those who show preference for Ayurvedic or other local treatment  options, and this ends up delaying the actual treatment required. There is an urgent need to help people become aware that cancer can be treated if diagnosed at an early stage.