GKU AND McGILL UNIVERSITY TO JOINTLY STUDY CAUSES FOR HIGHER CANCER IN S-W REGION OF PUNJAB
Author(s): City Air NewsTalwandi Sabo, June 22, 2017: Guru Kashi University (GKU) will study the reasons for higher risks of cancer in the cancer belt in collaboration with the Montreal based McGill University of Canada. This world famous...
Talwandi Sabo, June 22, 2017: Guru Kashi University (GKU) will study the reasons for higher risks of cancer in the cancer belt in collaboration with the Montreal based McGill University of Canada. This world famous University is known for its active research group working on various aspects of water in relation to agriculture, domestic use and human health. Cancer, endemic in South-Western districts of Punjab, in cotton belt, is an alarming problem affecting the masses and merits holistic investigation.
The proposed research project will study the problem of cancer holistically in the Talwandi Sabo block and will involve sampling of groundwater, surface water, soil, air and the agricultural produce in the pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon period. All samples (soil, water, air and plant) will be analyzed for pesticides, fertilizers, heavy metals, uranium, and tri-chloro-ethylene using standard procedures of extraction and analysis. A remediation/precautionary/mitigation strategy will be devised to help the community deal with the deadly exposure from environmental contamination, to be identified in the study.
The GKU Chancellor, Dr J.S.Dhaliwal, who visited the McGill University, Montreal, Canada held parleys on various dimensions of the problem with team of scientists led by Dr Shiv.O.Prasher, James McGill Professor. Dr Dhaliwal also held meetings with the Department Chair Dr Valerie Orsat and Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Associate Vice-Principal of Macdonald Campus, Dr Anja Geitmann.
After discussing the prevalence of cancer in the South-Western region of Punjab, an Indo-Canadian joint Project under collaborative set-up between GKU and McGill University was mooted. Enthusiastic about the project entitled “ Environmental causes of higher risks of cancer in South-Western Region of Punjab”, Dr Dhaliwal expressed: “this is my dream project which Dr Shiv O. Prasher (McGill) has also laid emphasis on. The project completion will involve multi pronged strategy and approaches and for it the members of the Knowledge Foundation of Punjab, of which he is the Chairperson, will also be involved. The project will have literature review, priority setting, sampling, analytic studies and awareness campaigns as vital components.
Welcoming the collaboration, the GKU Chairman, S. Gurlabh Singh Sidhu said that despite the enormity of the problem, detailed scientific investigations have not been undertaken in south-western Punjab to elucidate the actual cause of the problem by looking at groundwater, soil, air, and food samples holistically and simultaneously. The international project involving joint efforts by experts of GKU and McGill University will go a long way in potentially understanding the problem to create awareness among the people. Punjab needs such a project in the cancer prone area, he added.
The Managing Director, S. Sukhraj Singh Sidhu, congratulated the scientists for having arrived at a single platform to address the suffering of masses by taking on to the need-based international project on cancer and hoped that the outcome will benefit people in the long run.
The GKU Vice Chancellor, Col Dr B.S.Dhaliwal said that the ultimate outcome of the research project will be a status paper with shared inputs on the joint study by Guru Kashi University, Talwandi Sabo (Bathinda), India and McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
The GKU Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr Jagpal Singh, and Registrar, Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman said that the project envisages an outreach plan to be implemented with the help of NGOs, extension functionaries and scientists in the Malwa region to educate people on this vital problem and to come up with possible preventative mechanism.