Seventeen-year-old Sagar’s parents Bansi and Sonam migrated to Dr Ambedkar Basti in the capital city-Delhi from their village in search of a better livelihood and opportunity for two decades ago. But like the other millions of migrants, they too ended up in a tiny size shanty in one of the ghettos of the city. Sagar’s father Bansi found a job in a cloth factory and earns a sustainable amount. Bansi made sure to provide the education to his three children to date. Sagar is studying in grade 11. Things were going good until one day when Sagar visited Asha Polyclinic to seek the treatment for severe stomach pain and vomit and often felt delirious with periods of unconsciousness. He was referred to Safdarjung Hospital under Asha’s Referral Programme. However, to his shock, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) that had started affecting his liver. Sagar’s family was devasted by the news.
Ms Ranjana, the team leader of Dr Ambedkar Basti counselled the family and took them to the nearest government-run DOTS (Directly observed treatment) centre. He was then put on treatment for six months while the family was taken to a nearby government center for thorough check-ups and tests. Fortunately, no one else was found affected by TB. The team leader every day accompanied Sagar to the DOTS center as well as planned out a low-cost nutritious diet for him. “Within a few days of me starting the treatment, I could feel the difference. My appetite grew and I gained some weight” said Sagar.
Sagar is better now and off the medicine. He thanks Asha for standing strong with him and his family. He feels that psychosocial support must be made available for all patients. At present Sagar has resumed his studies.