Poulome Mukherjee

Surgical oncologist
Cachar cancer hospital and Research center
2023 Leadership Journey Project: Impact of Nutrition and Physical Activity Intervention on Health Behaviours of Women Cancer Survivors in a Semi-urban Cancer Hospital in India: A quasi-experimental study

I was brought up in Jamshedpur also known as the Steel City founded by Jamshedjee Tata. There was a strong influence of philanthrophy and social justice through my childhood and teenage years, as the Tata’s believed in creating a township based on these principles. There were also vivid memories of social disparity as the colony where we lived was flanked on two sides by a large Adivasi population. Our house help Parvati belonged to this community and she was like a godsend for Mom. Though both of them had a certain camaderie, It was very clear even to a 10 year old how different both their lives were. The worst lives even in the minority population where those of the women. I grew out of the small town and pursued my medical career in Kerela, the state known for its high literacy rates among other things. A totally different scenario. The thirteen years I spent completing my M.B.B.S, M.S and finally Mch in surgical Oncolcogy I imbibed a lot local culture and accumulated a reasonable understanding of how health care equity maybe achieved. Here I witnessed firsthand what well educated women were capable of. They knew no boundaries to prove their prowess. Deeply influenced by these powerful women I had made up my mind to channel my lifes work in empowering women and girls because they I knew would change the world. I had this divine opportunity to work with Dr Ravi Kannan in 2010. He was heading the Department of Surgical Oncology in Adyar Cancer Center in 2007, Chennai when he moved to the extreme North Eastern part of India in the town called Silchar.This part of Assam was the back of beyonds where the health care access was so poor that majority would die before they could go to a Cancer Hospital. The nearest Cancer Center was Guwahati and the logistics to reach was unsurmountable to majority.His work resonated deeply with what I wanted to do and with this intent I joined Cachar Cancer Hospital in 2010. I am currently working in the same hospital and under the leadership of Dr Kannan I feel myself growing every day in the mission to reach out to women of all strata to educate and empower them in the field of health. I believe all dimensions of health care including education,disease prevention, treatment and rehabilitation should be easily available free of cost to everybody. The onus is on us to empower women so that they can prioritize health and wellness along with family, work and other innumerable responsibilities they shoulder.

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