Project Axshya operates in 14 districts of Tamil Nadu and works with the government, private sector and communities through civil society. The focus is on timely access to TB diagnosis and treatment in rural areas. One of the main success stories of this project is identifying volunteers from different strata of the society in helping us reach out to many patients. With a common purpose of helping TB patients and fight the stigma surrounding the disease our community volunteers have saved many lives.

Two such dedicated volunteers- Ravi and Ashok from Polur block, Tiruvanamalai district, have been associated with REACH for a year. Ravi is an insurance agent and Ashok is a businessman. After attending a training programme they wanted to help TB patients. As volunteers they have been collecting and transporting sputum to the DMC on a regular basis. Covering 15 villages, spread over a 25-km radius of Polur block, the duo have so far collected many sputum samples from those with TB symptoms who reside in remote areas of the block.

Despite a regular job, their eagerness to help people makes them role models. Whenever there is a need to collect sputum samples, the two find time to visit homes. They also guide people to the local DMC if they are diagnosed with TB. Interacting with patients when they go for sputum collection, they meet several people in the villages and educate them about TB.Mr. Ravi and Mr. Ashok