The year 2020 shall forever be remembered as the year that the world faced the brunt of the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic. The Virus broke out in the Wuhan Province of China but spread all across the world and infected millions of people and claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands. 2020 also claimed the lives of a number of people, to this Pandemic as well as otherwise. Now, the year 2021 has also claimed the life of a veteran healthcare professional and a champion of cancer care! Reports state that 93-year-old veteran oncologist Dr. V. Shanta, has passed away early today morning, in Chennai. Dr. Shanta was the Chairperson of the world-renowned Adyar Cancer Institute, which is located in Chennai.

Reports state that Dr. Shanta had complained of some discomfort yesterday night and had been rushed to the Apollo Hospitals, where the doctors had tried to remove a block in one of her blood vessels. She is said to have passed away around 3:55 am, today. Following Dr. Shanta's death, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has announced that she would be cremated with Police honours. Many top Indian leaders have expressed their condolences at Dr. Shanta's passing. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a tweet, which read, "Dr. V Shanta will be remembered for her outstanding efforts to ensure top quality cancer care. The Cancer Institute at Adyar, Chennai is at the forefront of serving the poor and downtrodden. I recall my visit to the Institute in 2018. Saddened by Dr. V Shanta's demise. Om Shanti."

Dr. Shanta was born in 1927 and completed MBBS in 1949, from the Madras Medical College, specialising in Gynaecology & Obstetrics. She joined the Adyar Cancer Institute, founded by Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy, and took on the role of Resident Medical Officer in 1955 after completing her Postgraduation. In the 1960s, Dr. Shanta trained in the UK and Canada, in advanced cancer care. During her tenure as the Chairwoman of the Adyar Cancer Institute, Dr. Shanta has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2016, Padma Shri in 1986, Padma Bhushan in 2006 and the Magsasay Award in 2005! Reports state that despite having a stroke over a decade ago and suffering from age-related issues, Dr. Shanta had been active, till her end. Dr. Shanta's passing is definitely a huge loss to the medical fraternity. We pray for her soul to rest in peace!