Agra, Sep 26 A first-of-its-kind exhibition on childhood cancer awareness began in the premises of the Taj Mahal here on Sunday, authorities said.
As many as 1,500 children are expected to participate in the three-day exhibition, which is a part of the 'Go Gold India-Taj Goes Gold and UP Goes Gold' campaign of non-government organisation (NGO) 'CanKids..Kidscan', National Society for Change for Childhood Cancer in India.
Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has also extended his support to the campaign.
Speaking at the ceremony, Agra District Magistrate Gourav Dayal said, "CanKids' initiative is really appreciated and we thank the organisation for this novel cause. The UP government is opening a centre for cancer at Sultanpur road in Lucknow where the paediatric department would be on the priority."
The cancer survivors will collect 2,50,000 signatures, one for each child diagnosed with cancer, through the campaign. The signatures will be presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
September is Childhood Cancer awareness month, and golden ribbon and golden light are the symbols representing the world's youngest cancer patients. They honour the bravery and courage of children with cancer and their families.
The survivors wanted to turn the monument golden, however, as the Taj Mahal cannot be lit up golden due to a Supreme Court order. However, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) agreed to a 'Taj Goes Gold for Childhood Cancer Exhibition' within the the monument's premises from September 25-27.
Carmen Auste, Global Chair of Childhood Cancer International, said, "I thank the government of India in making possible this memorable occasion. The Taj Mahal is the greatest monument of love -- symbol of a love that even death could not weaken. It is most fitting that in this month of Childhood Cancer Awareness, we all come together with these children with cancer, the survivors and their families."