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Students at the forefront of campaign against TB

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CREATING AWARENESS: College students performing at a street play competition on tuberculosis, organised by the department of Social Work, D.G. Vaishnav College, and REACH, in Chennai on Monday.
CREATING AWARENESS: College students performing at a street play competition on tuberculosis, organised by the department of Social Work, D.G. Vaishnav College, and REACH, in Chennai on Monday.

Special Correspondent

20,000 participated in a signature campaign

CHENNAI: Two people die of tuberculosis every three minutes in India.

Given that, it doesn’t seem inappropriate that a drum roll should welcome a campaign to fight the medical dimensions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the social dimensions of TB.

Even more appropriate is that a bunch of youngsters were the ones who were heralding the strong new fight against TB. The brisk drum roll, by Pachaiappa’s College students, was followed by a series of street plays, again by the students, vividly imaginative, yet aimed at the one big battle.

A joint effort of REACH and the post graduate department of Social Work of D.G.Vaishnav College, the “Ennal Mudiyum” initiative that marked World Tuberculosis Day showed signs of being more than a day’s co-curricular activity for the students who came from a number of city colleges.

Over 20,000 students participated in a signature campaign to spread awareness of TB, signing on boards that were placed in 13 city colleges and some community health centres. On Monday, students of five colleges — D.G. Vaishnav College, Ethiraj College, New college, Hindu College and Mar Gregorius College — took part in a street play competition on the topic TB.

As usual, it was the stars — Actors Jeeva, Parthiban, Pandiarajan, Bharat, Karthik Kumar — who stole the loudest applause at the event, it helped that they were being brand ambassadors for a cause and recruiting young foot soldiers for the battle against TB.

Actor Pandiarajan released a DVD documentary on one of the DOTS providers —Meghanathan, of Sadayankuppam village in North Chennai. He handed over the first copy to Nalini Krishnan, director-projects, REACH. This was preceded by a scientific presentation on tuberculosis by M.S. Jawahar, deputy director, Tuberculosis Research Foundation. Karthik Kumar, Chitra Mahesh, who made the documentary, and Dr. Jawahar were judges for the street play competition.

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