TB Mukt Bharat through Jan Bhagidari
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often emphasized the important role of jan bhagidari (people’s participation) in solving critical problems and building a prosperous nation. His words — “when 130-crore countrymen take one step ahead with a set goal and the commitment to resolve, India moves 130 steps forward” — carry special resonance. The Swachh Bharat Mission, Covid-19 vaccination drive and the recently-concluded Har Ghar Tiranga campaign are examples of this synchrony between the government and citizens. When the two come together for a common mission, program have a great chance of success. Can we then capitalize on jan bhagidari to make India TB free by 2025?
PM Modi has set the ambitious goal of making India TB-free by 2025, five years ahead of the global target for eliminating this disease. Inspired by PM Modi’s commitment to the cause, we initiated the Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana under the aegis of the National TB Elimination Program (NTEP) to support the nutritional needs of TB patients. Under this scheme, over 62 lakh TB patients have received financial support amounting to Rs. 1,651 crore since 2018. This includes a transfer of Rs. 500 directly into the bank account of the patient.
The government has been working tirelessly to provide free diagnosis, free medicines and other kinds of support to people who have been affected by the disease. However, I believe that collective action will give the drive for TB-mukt Bharat unprecedented energy.
Any individual or organization can register as Ni-kshay Mitra on the Ni-kshay 2.0 portal to support people affected by the disease. The initiative intends to provide essential nutritional and social support to people with TB and root out stigma and discrimination against them. Three types of support are essential. First, a kit that contains appropriate food and supplements to take care of their nutritional needs. Second, support for additional lab-based diagnostic requirements. Third, equipping the patients with vocational skills to help them join the workforce and live a prosperous and productive life.
Under this initiative, individuals, organizations, corporates, cooperative organizations, elected leaders and NGOs can provide support by adopting persons with TB. You too can log in to the Ni-Kshay 2.0 Portal (https://communitysupport.nikshay.in/) and pledge to provide your support for any duration between one to three years, across any block or district in the country.
This innovative adoption campaign was conceptualized by Anandiben Patel, the governor of Uttar Pradesh. Her commitment to the cause and her unwavering belief in service to the people has given a fillip to our efforts.
When Lord Ram was building a bridge to Lanka, a squirrel came forward to help. Lord Ram appreciated even the smallest of contributions. The squirrel can be an inspiration to all of us – we can contribute to the Pradhan Mantri TB-Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan. Encouraged by PM Modi’s mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas Aur Sabka Prayas, each one of us can come together and join the Jan Andolan to make India TB-free by 2025.