The Indore Cancer Foundation was set up in December 1988.
After post graduation & training at Tata Memorial Centre followed by 5 international fellowships in head and neck cancer, Dr. Digpal Dharkar returned to India to start his professional career in Indore in July 1988. Soon thereafter, he floated the idea of setting up an organization that would work in the field of cancer, reaching out to people in remote, rural areas of the region, creating an awareness on the importance of early detection and the need to get the right treatment and in all this maintain a special focus on oral cancer, given their high incidence in India.
It was in the OR lounge of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, during his fellowship stint there, that Dr. Dharkar asked Dr. Jatin Shah, “How do you look at the possibility of developing a centre dealing with head and neck cancers in India?” Prompt came the reply, “Why one, India needs more than one center for head and neck cancers.” Clearly it was Dr Jatin Shah's view that looking to the high incidence of head and neck cancers in India, a centre for prevention and research on this cancer should be developed on Indian soil.
Shri Satyanarayen Khandelwal was associated with the project from day one. One-to-one meetings followed, resulting in people of public eminence like Shri Sharad Sanghi of Sanghi Brothers; Shri Ashok Chitale, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court; Shri NN Jain of Prestige Group; late Shri Govindram Sharma of the Marwal group; Shri MR Sivaraman, former Union Revenue Secretary; Shri Arshad Rashid joining hands in this noble cause. The ICF family continues to grow!
Today, people from all over the world support the Foundation by providing financial and/or technical assistance. Our personnel have been trained at some of the best institutions in the world and we have conducted several internationally supported scientific projects covering various aspects of Oncology.
However, the surge in cancer, the ever-increasing medical costs and our future plans call for continued and increasing amounts of financial support to keep the wheels in motion. Day-to-day running of the Indian Institute of Head and Neck Oncology is a challenge. This despite the fact that from inception, we have undertaken a new project only if financial support was available for the same. This approach was adopted to ensure that there are no pressures of financial liability and thus no compromise to our motto of ‘not denying treatment to a patient because s/he cannot afford it’.
We invite you to join hands with us. Assistance, both technical and financial, is welcome. We sincerely believe in the intrinsic worth of this project. We also believe that it is the synergy created by the tireless efforts and the collective wisdom of everyone involved, which ensures the success of a project such as this.