Ashakiranam (Cancer Care Campaign)

Ashakiranam cancer care campaign is a comprehensive project for prevention and care of cancer envisaged by Caritas India and it is implemented through Welfare Services Ernakulum known as Sahrudaya. Ashakiranam is a zero budgeted program and it started in Sahrudaya since 2013. This is a remarkable intervention in Kerala as well as in India, because the number of cancer affected patients is increased day by day. In the current scenario the relevance of Ashakiranam is very high.

Ashakiranam as a campaign is aimed to build larger level awareness on cancer and the importance of preventing the same for a healthy society on the need for producing, conserving and consuming good food thereby promoting healthy lifestyles.The campaign largely accounts for a cultural and behavioural change in the society, which would focus on the roots of cancer and work around prevention, building fences on many fronts. Ashakiranam program surely benefit so many cancer affected families in different ways such as in medical and financial, through the campaign we can promote the healthy and cancer resilient communities.


Sahrudaya Hair Bank
Sahrudaya promotes the hair donations through the awareness classes and through the campaigns. Main purpose of the initiative is to support the cancer patients by donating wigs to the ones who lost their hair due to exposure of radiation during the period of the treatment

Financial Support
Sahrudaya support the economically backward cancer patients through the Ashakiranam program. Every Monday morning the financial aid will provide to the patients. More than thousand patients got the financial support since the 2013.Earlier the financial support is given through the regional centres of Sahrudaya.

Awareness classes
Sahrudaya conduct awareness classes in the different regions through the volunteers and conduct awareness classes in schools ,parishes and in self help groups.s

Sahrudaya Life Returns

This is an initiative by Sahrudaya, this program is for the survivors from the cancer. This program can help and motivate the cancer patients that cancer is not the end.

No Plastic Campaigns and Cloth Bag Revolution
Plastic can also cause cancer and severe environmental problems, so Sahrudaya tried to eradicate plastics and bring the cloth bag culture from the earlier period. Kerala Government also prohibits the one time using plastic products from the beginning of the year 2020.Sahrudaya aimed to release 10 lakh cloth bags in the future years.

Volunteers are now essential in our scenario. Those people can provide knowledge and help to others without any remuneration. Sahrudaya has 256 volunteers and 30 Ashakiranam resource persons.

Cancer Resilient Society
In Kerala the number of cancer patients is increasing rapidly, so the resilience building is very essential in our society. Preventive method is organic farming and promotion of slow foods, prohibition of plastics etc. So the campaign is begins from the family.

Fund raising
Fund raising is mainly through the gift coupons and through the box collection in Sahrudaya Melodies Program.

Current Program

Sahrudaya Launched Hair Bank
As part of the “Ashakiranam cancer care campaign" supported by Caritas Indiain association with Welfare Services Ernakulam (Sahrudaya) a charitable organization promoted by the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly launched Sahrudaya hair bank. Main purpose of the initiative is to support the cancer patients by donating wigs to the ones who lost their hair due to exposure of radiation during the period of treatment. The hair for making wigs are collected through camps and voluntarily donation by individuals.

The event was organized with the coordination and support by catechism department of St. Raphael church and St. Raphael higher secondary school, Ezhupunna. The program was conducted in the school premise. The initiative was inaugurated by a well-known Malayalam actor Ms. Asha Sharath who in the event through her words expressed it as our responsibility to shower compassion to the cancer patient which is as important as the precautions that we take to prevent the illness. She also added, through events like Keshadanam, it will be a good motivation for children to develop compassion towards the one’s suffering, right from their childhood. In the event more than hundred participants including children and adults donated their hair in support of the initiative. The Vicar of St. Raphael Church, Ezhupunna Fr. Paul Cherupilly delivered the presidential address.Fr. Jose Koluthuvellil, Director Sahrudaya explained to the gathering about the initiative. Mr. Anandhu Shaji, coordinator of Ashakiranam cancer care campaign, Domenic Savio Thomas, Sr. Ancy Puthenpuraikkal and Rani Chacko spoke addressing the gathering.

List of programs

  • Pink tree awareness board
  • Breast cancer awareness class
  • Honouring breast cancer survivors
  • Financial support to breast cancer patients
  • food kit distribution
  • Quiz competition
  • Flying balloons to express solidarity with breast cancer patients

Honoring breast cancer survivors, providing Financial support and food kit distribution
Sahrudaya honoured the breast cancer survivors named as MsGeli and MsSujatha in the program.The survivors shared their treatment experience and they motivated the people that cancer is not the end. They said the importance of regular check ups and testing.Fr Joseph Koluthuvellil inaugurated the financial support program via giving to Ms Geli.Fr Jose offered sahrudaya will help 100 patients financially in the treatment stage.Food kit distribution inaugurated by Fr Joseph giving to MsSujatha.

Breast cancer awareness class
DrSr Ann Joe delivered the breast cancer awareness session and she describes about the types of cancer ,the symptoms and the cause. She suggests slow food can reduce the chance of being affected by breast cancer. Doctor explains the different stages of cancerand how we can check it by ourself. She suggests the usage of organic vegetables can reduce the chance of effecting cancer.

Quiz competition
A quiz competition based on cancer was organized in an attempt to test peoples knowledge on the topic and also to equip them with information new to them which also lead to awareness on the same. As a token of appreciation orange was gifted to every right answer. The purpose of giving orange was due to the fact that citric fruits help reduce the risk of cancer

Flying balloons in solidarity with breast cancer patients
Fr Joseph koluthuvellil hand over balloons to the staffs and to survivors to show the solidarity towards the patients.Pink balloons for the women and blue for the men. Out of 100 breast cancer patients 1% is men and they were not diagnosed quickly.Fr says “cancer is not the end, we have the warriors with us who were defeat cancer and we were with the other patients in the fight”. Balloons were flied in the air in order to show solidarity to the breast cancer affected individuals and survivors.