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Posted at: Jun 15, 2019, 7:12 AM; last updated: Jun 15, 2019, 7:12 AM (IST)

Cancer survivor celebrates 58th birthday

Cancer survivor celebrates 58th birthday
Prof Lakhbir Singh

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 14

Friends, acquaintances and well-wishers dropped in to congratulate Prof Lakhbir Singh on his 58th birthday. But his greatest blessing is his two sons – both serious academics – who have been taking turns to tend to his health.

With one of them away for academic studies to London School of Economics and Political Science, his second son has halted his FRI course, staying by his father’s side for a year.

Having battled cancer for 13 years, the 58-year-old president of the Jalandhar-based NGO Pahal, who is a teacher, activist and social worker known for many projects in Jalandhar, continues to receive treatment for multiple myeloma.

Both his sons also tended to his NGO during his illness. While he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma or bone marrow cancer in 2006, during a morning walk, he never let the projects of his NGO suffer due to his health.

Facing a number of ups and down through the years, Lakhbir Singh’s NGO as well as his health responsibilities have been taken by his two sons, Liakatbir Singh and Bageshwar Singh.

While Liakatbir was previously handling Pahal, he is now pursuing a prestigious scholarship at London School of Economics and Political Science, which he undertook in 2018.

His brother Bageshwar has given a break to his MSc forestry course at Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun, to tend to his father.

Commenting on his long battle with cancer, Lakhbir Singh, who is presently on chemotherapy sessions, said, “Never give up and keep your willpower strong. That is the best advice I can give to those battling cancer. Our strong will can sustain through the worst of times. It’s all about the love from family and never giving up hope.”

A strong votary for holistic healthcare, Lakhbir Singh has been instrumental in providing sessions to hundreds of cancer patients and mobilising survivors.

An award winning activist, his NGO currently runs various programmes, including a health clinic at Transport Nagar, which provides counselling to 14,000 truck drivers, two units (evening schools classes) under the National Child Labour Project and two crèches at the Indira Colony slums in the city.

He has also been a veteran and expert on various projects ranging from AIDS, blood donation and earthquake sensitivity among others.

“It has been a long fight but I am carrying forward with hope. Currently, I receive twice-a-week chemo sessions, which shall continue for two months. I look forward to better health and sustained work,” he said.


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