Ezhuvom Iyekkam: A Statewide Campaign to address Cancer

One of the major roles of strategic management is to incorporate various functional areas of the organization completely, as well as, to ensure these functional areas harmonize and get together well. Once the objectives and the factors influencing strategic decisions have been determined, it is easy to take strategic decisions to make cautious deployment of resources to achieve the mission.

To rise in life, the poor and marginalised need the rightful support of the capacitated change agents. It requires proper strategic orientation. The one-day meeting facilitated by Caritas India, with Executive Director, Fr.Paul Moonjely as the chief facilitator was focusing on ‘Partnership Strategies Orientation and Planning for Tamil Nadu Diocesan Directors’ on the Campaign “Ezhuvom Iyakkam” (Rise Up Movement). It was held at Madras Social Service Society (MSSS) on 1st November 2019 with the participation of 27 Diocesan Social Service Societies. The overall arrangement was done by Fr.Patrick I Joseph, Director of MSSS in consultation with Dr.John Arokiaraj, Manager, Caritas India and Fr.Alber Thambidurai, Director of Tamil Nadu Regional Forum – TASOSS.

“Strategic orientation on Campaign theme should be seen in the whole of the ecosystem of the movement building process. Strategic engagement should lead to evolving a new model and paradigm. Let us try to build on the resources that are at our disposal. Among the varied resources, the best of resources we have is a human resource. Coming together and rising together as a community brings in changed narrative unfolding the inherent capacities of the community towards animated actions” said Fr.Paul in his inaugural address.

“In order to locally sustain the campaign, we need to engage with the community to mobilize resources for social causes and have clear engagement plan for volunteers,” said Ms.Babita, Operations Manager, Caritas India while making a presentation on the framework and key interventions.

The participant directors said that the agrarian background of majority of the population, changing unhealthy food habits, excessive usage of chemicals, costly treatment for cancer, loss of livelihood of patients and their family members have driven them to consider cancer as a serious health issue that requires immediate and collective intervention through campaign approach. Cancer is curable provided it is detected at the early stage. We have institutional resources in Adyar Cancer Institute, CMC, JIPMER, etc., they observed.

A culture of awareness and sensitisation on the issue and soliciting the collaboration is the need of the hour. The element of cancer can be introduced in the village development plan. Conscious change in lifestyle habits and practices is required. People led and managed approach, volunteer base, local resource base, leadership development for marginalised communities, mobilising people’s interest, dialogue with local governance, linkage with Government-led campaigns, gathering momentum at the State level through the Forum and Caritas India along with core group to steer the campaign are found to be key factors in the new approach.

While developing a coherent language that will be shared by the organisation stakeholders, which encourages clarity while addressing issues for social change, a context-specific framework can be developed for addressing strategic concerns to an effective decision making. In the process of strategic thinking, DSSS partners will align their organisational goal with the know-how of the programmes to be carried out and appropriately designing and developing organisational capacities and correlating organisational resources with effective allocation to the desired programmes.

Caritas India will ensure that DSSSs develop the ability to anticipate the change by effectively preparing the stakeholders to be open to the emerging circumstances that inevitably occur along the way. Identifying the degree of the gap that persists between the actual reality and the long-term aspirations of the DSSSs (Cancer free society) will facilitate an attempt to estimate its probable future condition if the current trends persist. All efforts will be oriented towards converging with Caritas India’s 4 Key Strategic Pillars viz., Empowering Animation, Dialogue, Volunteering and Sharing Communities.

This 18-month programme will commence from January 2020 with a financial capital of 13.5 million rupees to be supported by Caritas India. As a way forward, communication will be sent to all the parishes and district hospitals for the data on cancer affected people from each diocese. State-level data on the issue of cancer will be collected and made available by December 2019. Think tank will be formed and it will meet quarterly for periodical discussion and deliberation to steer the campaign.