Axshya in Sanskrit means ‘free from TB’, this was the word used by the the Global Fund Round 9 India TB Grant to call their project. Project Axshya is coordinated by two organizations namely International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) South-East Asia Regional Office located in Delhi and World Vision India (WVI) for the period 2010-2015. Under the Union, Project Axshya is reaching out to nearly 570 million people including 170 million women, 150 million children, 250 million poor, 50 million tribal and 40 million slum dwelling persons.

Project Axshya has many prongs of action, one of which is facilitating the creation of TB forums at districts level. These TB forums give a voice to the affected community and advocate with the programme managers for resolution of challenges faced by TB patients in accessing services. More than 200 districts have a functional district TB forum in them. Let us look in detail an initiative carried out by one such TB forum.

The District TB forum Pudukkottai, Tamilnadu is a well structured body which works for the welfare activities of TB patients in Pudukkottai, Tamilnadu. The members are different stakeholders, who meet once in 45 days. They strive to make every meeting a meaningful one by making sure that the needs of the patients are met. One such meeting was held on 14.09.2013, where the issue about giving daily nutritional support to patients on DOTS was raised.  This issue was discussed with the DTO and arrangements were made to hand over Rs.4500/- per month to a volunteer who will cook nutritious foods (like peas, dhal) for 20 patients who took DOTS at Pudukottai DTC.

Alexpandi. A is the District Coordinator for Pudukottai distirct, Tamil Nadu. He carries out the activities of Project Axshya in the districts of Thanjavur and Pudukotti.

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A. Alexpandi