Jan Bhagidari (people’s participation) towards a TB-Mukt Bharat

Dr Mansukh Mandaviya
As our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has always said, whenever each and every one across our Nation take a step together, our country moves a 130 crore steps forward.  
Hon’ble Prime Minister has an irrefutable belief in the role of Jan Bhagidari (people’s participation) towards building a prosperous Nation. So can we capitalise on this wave of collective strength and unity, towards a New India that is TB-free by 2025 ? Even a small, seemingly insignificant contribution by every individual ignites a Jan Andolan (people’s movement). Success is usually almost always fully guaranteed when the Government and citizens of the country come together for a common mission. The Swachh Bharat Mission, Covid-19 vaccination drive and the recently concluded ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign are stellar examples of the same.
As one Nation, together, we hope to leverage this principle of collective action and people’s participation towards achieving our goal of a TB-Mukt Bharat. When the world set for itself 2030 as the global target for TB elimination, our Hon’ble Prime Minister set an ambitious goal of making India TB-free by 2025, five years ahead of the global target. This has been completely driven and encouraged by his belief in our country’s spirit of collective action and contribution. It is towards achieving this ambitious target that the Government of India initiated the Ni-Kshay Poshan scheme, under the aegis of the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP).  Under this scheme, between 2018 and June 2022, 62.71 lakh persons affected with TB have received a total financial support of Rs 1,651 crore. This includes transfer of Rs 500, through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), directly into the bank account of the person with TB. This has helped them to address their nutritional requirements.
In this context, it is appropriate that I make a special mention of Smt. Anandiben Patel, Hon’ble Governor of Uttar Pradesh, who initiated the TB Adoption Campaign that continues to receive widespread appreciation.
Inspired by her work and to provide an added impetus to this campaign, the Government of India has initiated the Ni-Kshay 2.0 portal –under the ‘Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’. This which was launched by the Hon’ble President Smt. Droupadi Murmu on September 9, 2022. This portal provides a digital platform for providing community support to persons with TB. Any individual or organisation can register as a Ni-Kshay Mitra on this portal to provide this support.
Adoption of persons with TB is a very significant aspect of this campaign. The underlying objective is to help eradicate the existing societal stigma and discrimination against persons with TB, provide the much needed nutritional and social support to them and help them lead a normal life. Under this initiative, individuals, organisations, corporate entities, co-operative organisations, elected representatives, non-Governmental organizations, political parties–everyone 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.
Persons with TB need three key types of support. First, provision of a nutritional kit comprising of appropriate, need-based nutritional items to take care of their nutritional requirements. Second is support for additional lab-based diagnostic requirements. Third is equipping them with vocational skills to enhance their employability towards a better livelihood. You can support persons with TB, for a minimum duration of one year and a maximum of three years, in any block or district across the country. It is noteworthy that the Govt of India provides free diagnosis, free medicines and other kinds of support to persons with TB. However, I believe that your support and collective action will provide an unprecedented energy and vigour as we move towards our goal of a TB-Mukt Bharat.
It is my earnest appeal to you to come forward and actively support this mission so that we can truly realise our vision forth is Jan Andolan. Please come forward and do your bit towards the Nation’s collective battle against TB. Like we are fighting COVID-19 with grit and determination, we will likewise fight and win our collective battle against TB.
Today, I would like to share a short snippet from Ramayana. When Lord Shri Ram was building the bridge to Lanka, a small squirrel also came forward to help. Lord Shri Ram immensely appreciated, even this small contribution.
Inspired by this squirrel, all of us as citizens of India can contribute immensely under the ‘Pradhan Mantri TB-Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’. I truly believe, that encouraged by the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas Aur Sabka Prayas’  each one of us will come together and join this Jan Andolan to serve humanity and make India TB-free by 2025. TB Harega, Desh Jeetega ! The writer is Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Chemical and Fertilizers.