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Gulam Sarvar belongs to a community of weavers in Benaras who are renowned for weaving Benarasi saris through generations. But nowadays, the community is receiving attention for another reason: TB. “Initially I was not feeling hungry, then I started coughing and having fever,” says Sarvar. “Then I became really weak and was bed-ridden and could not work anymore.” Gulam was infected with TB.
This is not just the story of Gulam Sarvar. There are thousands of such weavers who are becoming a victim of this disease. Around 30% of the population is infected with TB. It is easy for the weavers to get infected because of the dingy spaces they work out of. There is not much light or fresh air in the rooms where the looms are and the conditions are perfect for the TB bacteria to come into full form. The dust, the smoke and the fibre also add to the hazardous mix which brings down their immunity – priming them for an attack.
Malnutrition is another reason why the weavers' immunity is low. What worsens the state of the patients is the lack of proper medical attention and facility. On one hand the government officials are negligent and the other is the problem of patients going to quacks instead of trained health professionals. This is aggravated by the poverty of the weavers. “We take the medication for as long as we can afford it,” says Badarunisha. But can we afford to leave these weavers to their fate?
Few link of PVCHR initiative on TB:
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The life narratives, voices, and actual experiences on this website reflect the spiritual awakenings of personalities extraordinaire who desired to make a difference in the lives of others. The passion for social justice and meaningful activities, the dedication to compassion, the commitment and healing journeys of those ordinary individuals and their stirring stories is what we intend to showcase.
PVCHR founded in 1996 by Mr. Lenin Raghuvanshi and Ms. Shruti Nagvanshi in close association with Sarod Mastro Pandit Vikash Maharaj, Poet - Gyanendra Pati and Historian Mahendra Pratap. PATRON: Justice Z.M Yacoob Sitting Judge Constitution Court of South Africa & Chancellor of University of Durban, South Africa.