Cancer care at revamped Meherbai Tata Memorial Hospital in Jamshedpur
Ratan Tata (centre), the chairman of Tata Trusts, and other dignitaries being taken around the new facility at the Meherbai Tata Memorial Hospital in Jamshedpur

Acomprehensive new cancer care facility was inaugurated recently by Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Trusts, at the renovated Meherbai Tata Memorial Hospital (MTMH) in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.

Established in 1975, MTMH is named after Meherbai Tata, the wife of Dorab Tata, the son of Tata group founder Jamsetji Tata. The hospital was developed by the Trusts in partnership with Tata Steel. The endeavour was supported by the Suri Seva Foundation and Tata AutoComp Systems.

Mr Tata, speaking on the occasion, said: “I have a great sense of pride in what we have inaugurated today. It serves the Tata Trusts dream of contributing a grid of cancer hospitals so that lives may be saved. The new facility is a wonderful new extension and we look forward to the contribution it will make.”

The wide-ranging expansion project took 12 months to complete and it included the construction of a new wing with 90 beds and state-of-the-art equipment. The old 40-bed MTMH was remodelled and a skywalk now connects the two wings of the hospital.

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Parag wins global award
Swaha Sahoo (left) with Kate Harris

Parag, the Tata Trusts programme to promote reading among children through the development and use of literature in Indian languages, has won the 2019 ‘educational initiatives’ honour at the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards.

The awards, instituted in partnership with the Publishers Association, are a celebration of publishing and related activities outside Britain. The chair of the jury, Kate Harris of Oxford University Press, said: “The panel particularly liked the inclusive approach of the programme, which works with a range of partners and publishers to maximise its impact.”

Commenting on the achievement, Swaha Sahoo, who heads Parag said, “It motivates us to continue doing our best to nurture children’s literature.”

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Helping hand for the elderly

The ‘Elder Spring response system’, a helpline service aimed at making the lives of senior citizens healthier and happier, was launched on March 27 in Hyderabad.

The initiative will be managed by the Vijayavahini Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of the Trusts, and will focus on providing care and support for senior citizens, rescuing those abandoned by their families, and supporting victims of abuse. Initially covering Hyderabad city, the initiative will be expanded to other cities and regions in the future.

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Mental health book released

Pathways of Hope, a monograph on innovative approaches in dealing with mental health issues in India, was launched recently by the Tata Trusts.

Conceived by Tasneem Raje, the book brings alive the inspirational stories of people who have battled and overcome mental illness to rebuild their lives and regain their dignity. These stories also illustrate the sterling work done by Udaan, the mental health initiative of the Trusts.

The programmes under Udaan include reforming the Regional Mental Hospital, Nagpur, and a large-scale community-based mental healthcare effort that involved screening the population of the entire district and linking them to services close to home. The initiatives have been undertaken in collaboration with the Maharashtra government.

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Spotlight on menstrual issues
A panel discussion about women’s health issues was one of the events at the launch of the menstrual health management intervention by the Tata Trusts

The Tata Trusts will soon be launching ‘menstrual hygiene management’ (MHM) interventions to fight the negativity associated with menstruation and the indignity that millions of women and girls have to face in India.

The MHM interventions, to be rolled out in the rural areas of Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Jharkhand, will be implemented as part of the Trusts’ Tata Water Mission.

“Behaviour change is our primary objective with regard to hygienic menstrual practices in an environment that supports menstruation,” said Divyang Waghela, head of the Tata Water Mission, about the upcoming programme. “In addition to the training, we will facilitate women federations and local social entrepreneurs [through the initiative].”

The MHM programme has been split into two parts: school interventions and community interventions. While the community component will target menstruating women, the school programme will focus on adolescent girls. The broader goal is educate people about the subject and to provide a supportive sociocultural environment for women.

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India’s handloom weavers get a deserving boost

The Tata Trusts and Microsoft India have joined hands to help rejuvenate handloom clusters in the eastern and northeastern parts of India.

Microsoft India and the Tata Trusts, through their respective initiatives, ReWeave and Antaran, have been working to preserve traditional textile weaving forms and creating sustainable livelihood options for weavers.

“Through the partnership with Microsoft, we want to empower artisans and bring them up to par while making them competitive in the industry,” said R Pavithra Kumar, chief programme director, Tata Trusts, about the collaborative venture.

“We are focused on reviving some of the forgotten and fading handloom forms in India’s textile heritage,” said Anil Bhansali, the managing director of Microsoft India. “[This will also] help build a digitally inclusive society.”

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