Of the 9.25,000 TB patients in the country who agreed to be “adopted” by the community for nutritional support, pledges for 9.24,000 patients have already been received within a week, according to the government’s Ni-kshay portal.
The Business Association of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) alone has pledged to support 1,000 patients.
As part of the program, patients receive monthly grocery baskets, additional diagnostic support, and professional training for families. “Public participation will make the effort a success! I am pleased to announce that “Nikshay Mitras” has shown commitment to help 9.24 lakh TB patients. As part of the Pradhan Mantri TB Free India campaign, 9.25 lakh TB patients had given their consent for help on the Nikshay 2.0 portal,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted on Thursday.
Of the donors who sent their pledges, 2,818 “Ni-kshay Mitras” — individuals, public officials, corporations and NGOs who will adopt these patients — have already been endorsed by their respective TB coordinators to support 2.77 thousand patients approved. After a pledge, volunteer donors are connected to TB officers in the area where they want to support the patient.
The TB officer in charge then goes through the list of patients who have consented and provides the donor with their details on the condition that he does not share them.
Of the Ni-kshay Mitras already confirmed, 1,730 – or 61.4% – are individuals. Among others are 325 NGOs, 162 institutions, 86 corporations, 84 political parties, 56 elected officials, 18 cooperatives and 357 others. Data shows that 82.6% of them have committed to supporting patients for one year, 14.9% for six months, 1.5% for three years and 1% for two years.
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The Department of Health, in collaboration with the ICMR’s National Institute of Nutrition, has developed two options for monthly grocery baskets that donors can provide. The adult vegetarian food basket must contain 3 kg of cereals or millet, 1.5 kg of legumes, 250 g of cooking vegetable oil and 1 kg of powdered milk or 6 liters of milk or 1 kg of peanuts.
The non-vegetarian option includes an additional 30 eggs.
For children, the basket must contain 2 kg of grain or millet, 1 kg of legumes, 150 g of vegetable oil and 750 g of powdered milk or 3.5 liters of milk or 0.7 kg of peanuts.