Women wear pink saris to SCG for breast cancer campaign

More than 100 women wore pink saris for Jane McGrath Day at the Sydney Cricket Ground, hoping to raise awareness for breast cancer screening.


It’s the one day on the Australian calendar where pink is the only colour in fashion.


But this year’s Jane McGrath Day featured a fun, new element.


Women donned saris during the third day of the cricket Test between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground to draw attention to the low number of women in Indian and Sri Lankan communities screened for breast cancer in Australia.


The message is being spearheaded by the Pink Sari Project, launched in 2014 to raise awareness for breast cancer screening rates within Indian and Sri Lankan communities.


Cancer Institute NSW data revealed that only one in five women of Tamil or Hindi speaking background participated in breast screenings in the state.


They, with the help of health organisations, set a goal to raise the mammogram rates in those communities by 5 per cent.


By 2017 that number had almost tripled, with breast screening rates in Indian and Sri Lankan communities rising by 14 per cent.


However, Pink Sari Project organisers said more needed to be done to overcome certain cultural pressures.


“What greater platform could the Pink Test be, not only for spectators in Australia, but all over the world,” Pink Sari organiser Shantha Viswanathan told SBS News.


The Federal Government today pledging to address the shortfall with $27 million dollars to increase the number of breast care nurses across Australia.


Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath praised Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli for his visible support of the McGrath Foundation.


The Australian pace great’s wife Jane died of breast cancer in 2008.


The McGrath foundation was set up in in 2005 to raise awareness of the illness and fund breast care nurses to support individuals and their families.


The SCG Test is now known as the Pink Test and the Saturday of that game is called Jane McGrath Day.


McGrath shook hands with players from both sides before play started on Saturday, with the majority of the crowd wearing something pink.


McGrath said he was touched but not surprised by the support from Kohli, who on day one had pink on his gloves, pads and bat grip when he came to the crease.


“I was chatting to him down in Melbourne and he said he’s got all his pink gear ready and (to) keep an eye on it when we get to Sydney, it’s going to be pretty special,’ McGrath said on Saturday.


“It was massive. It’s very humbling that someone like Virat would do that, that was a very special moment.”


McGrath reported around $410,000 of his organisation’s target of $2.1 million over the Test to fund 15 more breast care nurses for a year, had been raised after the first two days.


Source: Original article published by SBS 5 January 2019