Chai Adda with the fishermen, Mumbai 2022

The Chai for Cancer initiative is as much about creating awareness as it is about raising funds for cancer patients in need. On 25th May 2022, The Max Foundation team hosted this group of fishermen from Worli to their office and talked to them about cancer care as well as the challenges that the now under-construction Coastal Road Project poses to their livelihoods.

The Max team sometimes joins this group for a game of carrom after lunch. Their boats are tethered just a few minutes walk from the Max office , right on the water front facing Haji Ali. On this day, the fishermen visited the Max office and joined the team for a cup of chai and some snacks. Viji Venkatesh informed them of the organization’s work and talked to them about the ill-effects tobacco consumption can have on their health.

The fishermen also talked about how the infrastructure project is driving the fish farther away from the sea and affecting their catch. “Our lobster business has completely dried up”, said one. “When the big boat owners couldn’t do anything about the construction, what can we do?” said another.

This mini-Adda was everything that the Chai for Cancer Adda stands for. People from different walks of life connecting with each other over a hot cup of tea, learning about each other’s lives and spreading awareness about cancer care. Before leaving, one of the fishermen nervously asked Viji Venkatesh “If someone I know gets diagnosed with cancer, can I bring them to you for counselling?” Viji, of course, replied with a radiant “Yes”.

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