This World Health Day, meet India’s latest TB warrior – Siya, a 12 year old wonder girl who fought and defeated MDR TB. Her courageous and incredible story has been now been launched as an animated film called, “TB Ki Kahani, Siya ki Zubaani” at https://bit.ly/2Ix6ZLw. Created by Survivors Against TB (SATB), in close collaboration with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), this film is available in both Hindi and Marathi.
Siya fell prey to drug resistant extra- pulmonary TB (EPTB) when she was barely seven years old. She took treatment in the government TB program, successfully managing side affects completing treatment to defeat TB. “I and my family were very scared when Doctor Uncle said that I had TB. But I took my medicines everyday as Doctor Uncle told me and was cured. TB treatment completion is very important. I think TB can be defeated and if my story can help and inspire others, I’d be very delighted,” says Siya, the protagonist of the film.
Narrating Siya’s brave journey, the film also offers information on TB, its symptoms and treatment. The film is targeted at children with an aim to spread awareness about TB and will be widely shown in schools.
“When we met Siya, I realised her story lends itself beautifully to educate children and also motivate other TB affected children. If she can do it, so can anyone else. That’s why we decided to make this film. It’s simple and direct. Its message is that TB can happen to anyone, it’s curable and treatment is available for free”, says Chapal Mehra, Convenor SATB. The goal is to create more versions of her story in other different languages.
Children in India remain vulnerable to TB and once infected children are likely to get sick with TB more quickly than adults. In comparison to adults, TB in children remains an ignored aspect of TB care. Diagnosis of TB remains challenging in young children and treatment remains hard to take. The understanding of the burden of drug resistant TB (DR-TB) among this age group also remains limited.
The aim of the film is awareness and engagement on TB in schools and other educational institutions. India bears the highest burden of TB in the world, with one Indian dying of TB every minute. The government is committed to meet the global targets of TB elimination by 2025. Through such endeavours, the BMC and SATB aim to educate the children, their families on the TB to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment.
The films are available at: