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Cricket, Bollywood, Politics - Bringing Together India's Top Favourites to Raise Awareness on Tuberculosis

The catchphrase of this mega event was ‘TB Harega, Desh Jeetega'.

Bidisha Sarkhel |

Updated:April 18, 2017, 5:15 PM IST

In India - one person die of tuberculosis every minute and 1,400 people die every day. India records the highest number of tuberculosis cases in the world, with Mumbai being the tuberculosis capital of the country. While we continue to struggle, to raise awareness, and prevent many other fatal diseases like cancer, HIV, we need a long way to go when it comes to tuberculosis.

Bollywood celebrities and parliamentarians assembled for a T20 cricket tournament in Dharmshala last weekend, to raise awareness on tuberculosis, and also reach to out to the larger audience. Lok Sabha MP,Anurag Thakur synchronized the event that saw BJP Spokesperson, Shahnawaz Hussain, Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda, Bihar MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Himachal Pradesh Health Minister- Kaul Singh Thakur, among several others – joined hands to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025.

While parliamentarians discussed government’s policies; Bollywood fraternity spoke of the social stigma attached to the disease, and urgent need to remove all such stigma.

Bobby Deol, the captain of the Mumbai Heroes Team said, “A lot of people think having tuberculosis is close to being an ‘untouchable’. We need to overcome that and understand that this disease can affect any individual so recognizing the symptoms and curing it is a priority.”

The catchphrase of this mega event was ‘TB Harega, Desh Jeetega’, as people from all walks of life came together to cohesively work towards eliminating this high risk disease.

Rhea Lobo, an international award winning filmmaker, is a survivor who braved all odds and stands extremely optimistic and strong today. She was warned by her relatives to not disclose her disease as that it will make her unfit for all suitors. After having survived the painful treatment, she is now a happily married journalist, working in her startup and also enjoying the perks of motherhood. Rhea had tuberculosis in her bones and she revealed that until then she did not know that tuberculosis can affect multiple parts of our body.

“Until my diagnosis I didn’t know we can tuberculosis anywhere else but our lungs. Government hospital doctors are more trained to treat tuberculosis patients and still a lot needs to be done to train doctors to cater specially to tuberculosis patients as the rising number of cases is alarming.”

With the government’s implementation of National Health Policy, Union Health Minister, J P Nadda, has pledged to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025.

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| Edited by: shifa khan
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