Professor Minoti Barthakur, the survivor who conquered the deadly disease of cancer with positive energy

cancer survivor

There are only few who can take up the challenges of life and emerge as winners. 68 year old Minoti Barthakur, a cancer survivor is one such brave soul who remained undaunted during the phase of severe crisis and came out victorious. Even when doctors had given up hope, Minoti Barthakur dared to fight a shrewd and baffling disease like cancer. And in the process she has become a role model for thousands of cancer patients worldwide.

Minoti Barthakur is an accomplished academician who served as a professor and head of the Department of Philosophy, Cotton College, a premier postgraduate institution in Guwahati. She has a brilliant academic record and is a gold medalist from Darrang College, Tezpur.

Minoti Barthakur belongs to an eminent family. Her husband late Nikunja Behari Barthakur was a highly decorated Rotarian and Honorable Fellow of World Health Organization (WHO). In the year 1993, they were travelling to a number of South Asian countries as a part of the fellowship and it was during one of the trips, Mrs. Barthakur realized that something was seriously wrong with her body.

In April 1994, Minoti Barthakur was diagnosed with an advanced and widespread stage of cancer. Doctors at the Tata Memorial Hospital and Cancer Research Institute in Mumbai gave up hope and declared that Barthakur would not survive more than a year. But she decided to fight back.

For the next one and half years, her life was taken over by the disease. She had been in and out of the hospital several times for surgeries, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It’s been one long journey, the recovery was tiresome and she had to go through all the trials and tribulations.

Misfortune knocked at her door once again with the relapse of the deadly disease in 2009. Her husband who stood by her like a rock through out the surgeries, radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions, could not stand the reports. A fatal heart attack took him away from her life forever, leaving her all alone to fight the odds further. However the circumstances could not defy her positive mindset. With supreme belief in cosmic power, once again she fought with the killer crab with courage and grit.

Her fight did not end in just conquering over the disease; she has been encouraging people to live life positively beside providing support to cancer patients and depressed people. And to aid her in this direction, Professor Barthakur decided to tell her extraordinary triumph of recovery through positive energy and self-healing along with a healthy lifestyle by penning down her thoughts. She has beautifully narrated her battle against cancer in her memoir, ‘A Cancer Survivor: Struggle and Success’ – a must read for those fighting the devastating disease.

Interview with Professor Minoti Barthakur, a cancer survivor


Apart from working in the cancer hospitals to motivate patients and running a free counselling center at the B. Barooah Cancer Institute and as well as North East Cancer Hospital, both in Guwahati, Minoti Barthakur has travelled from place to place for making common people aware about the causes and prevention of cancer. With this purpose she walks from village to village, college to college, universities and schools, ‘namghar’ and other religious places not only in the North-Eastern states, but throughout the length and breadth of the country and also beyond the borders of our country. Seeing the positive mental graph in patients with whom she interacts, Mahakali Cancer Hospital in Dhaka has included her in their regular list of invitees.

Awarded as ‘Positive Health Hero’ from Dr. Batras in 2008, today Professor Barthakur is a symbol of hope and inspiration for thousands of cancer patients. A strong believer in cosmic energy, Barthakur derives her strength from meditation and pranayama. According to Professor Barthakur, healing through the mind can work harmoniously with medicine. Just the simple process of letting go the negative thoughts will allow our natural state of health to emerge within us and the body will heal itself.

The day I was detected with cancer, I asked God for 10 more years on earth with a promise that I would work for the welfare of cancer patients. God not only answered my prayer, but granted me several years more.

She has completely surrendered her life for the noble cause of motivating and inspiring the victims of cancer. In her late sixties, with a broken health, Professor Barthakur, the cancer survivor is deliberately spending her life’s earnings just to put informational light on the disease. In other words we can say, Minoti Barthakur is keeping her promise to God in true sense. In today’s materialistic world such a gallant and dedicated person like Minoti Barthakur can be hardly found.

Cancer is a journey that one needs to walk alone with guts. It’s never the end of the road, if there is courage in the heart. One can be either a victim of cancer or a survivor; it’s all about our attitude towards the disease. It’s all about focusing on the fight and not the fright.

Kakoli Mahanta

A post graduate in Economics, Kakoli Partha Mahanta worked for corporate finance sector for about 7 years. Mother of a cute 2 year baby girl, Kakoli is currently located in Bangalore, India, flourishing her writing skill.

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