Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation for cancer holds holiday gala

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Organizers and attendees at the Dec. 5, 2021, Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation for cancer, holiday celebration held at The Metropolitan in Long Island, N.Y. Photo: ITV Gold.

The Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation in New York, held a holiday gala Dec. 5, 2021, at The Metropolitan in Long Island, attended by some 200 invitees.

The NDMF in New York was founded 40 years ago in 1981, with the encouragement of Sunil Dutt, the husband of Nargis Dutt, both legendary Bollywood actors, when she was diagnosed and treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.

According to the Nargis Dutt Cancer Foundation supports the advanced training of physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, purchases medical equipment in the U.S., and donates it to those who will use it most effectively in India for the treatment of poor cancer patients, the website of the Foundation says (ndcfonline.org). Sunil Dutt established the NDCF in New York on the express wishes of his late wife who wanted underserved communities in India to receive the kind of care she did.

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Several executive members of the Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation spoke at the New York gala, including President Hussain Baqueri, Shudh Prakash Singh, Gurdip Singh Narula, and Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold.

Priya Dutt. Photo Twitter @PriyaDutt_INC

Priya Dutt, daughter of the famous couple, spoke to the gathering via an online video call, thanking the supporters for their hard work.

“Even during the past few years during Covid, the Nargis Dutt Foundation did not stop working. We continued our work and it was recognized by all,” Priya Dutt said. The Foundation was able to reach out to those patients in need, people who because of Covid, had stopped their treatments, she said. Money has been raised for a mobile unit for early cancer detection, she noted, “which is very, very important.” At this time, scans for early detection are being conducted, and the Foundation has tied up with hospitals and doctors for the same. She also spoke of giving equipment to the Asian Cancer Foundation which is run by oncologists.

“Thanks to all your efforts,” Priya Dutt concluded, the Foundation will be continuing its work and she could give a fuller account of its achievements.

“This is a holiday dinner for supporters and past honorees and the community that has always helped us raise millions of dollars to send equipment to India for the needy,” said Singh, adding, “We are happy that we are all able to put in oru little bit to contribute to make this Foundation do what it was meant for.”

Narula said the Foundation had sent large amounts of equipment and cash for the needy including two years ago, to the Indore Cancer Fund, and last year a bus to serve villages. He urged donors to continue supporting the Foundation to make its funds bigger so that more projects could be undertaken in India.

A section of the gathering at the Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation holiday gala at The Metropolitan, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2021. Photo: ITV Gold.

Baqueri said he has been associated with the Foundation for 14 years, since his mother died from cancer. “I wanted to give back to the country that gave me so much,” he said.

Dr. Parikh recalled he has been a member since the time Sunil Dutt conceived the idea and when his own friend Dr. Jatin Shah treated Nargis Dutt. Dr. Parikh is an early honoree of the Foundation.

“This is a great Foundation and they have sent millions of dollars worth of equipment and cash donations back home and made people’s lives better. You can always count on Parikh Worldwide Media, ITV Gold and me personally,” Dr. Parikh said.

Other notable guests included New York State Senator Kevin Thomas, the only Indian-American in the upper house of the legislature, who said he was honored to be partnering with the Foundation that has done so much good work.

Also present was New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli who extolled the Foundation for its good work in not just helping cancer patients but also during natural disasters and for education of young children. “So, the Long Island community here is out in force to support the wonderful, wonderful work of this Foundation, and I am honored to be here,” DiNapoli said.

Since the New York-based Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation was established forty years ago, the organization has grown to more than 10 chapters across the world with the main office in Mumbai. The chapters are autonomous bodies functioning independently, says the website of Nargis Dutt Cancer Foundation.

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