Of 9.25 lakh TB patients in the country who had agreed to be “adopted” for nutritional support by the community, commitments for 9.24 lakh patients have already been received within a week, according to the government’s Ni-kshay portal.
The business chamber Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) alone has committed to support 1 lakh patients.
Under the programme, patients will receive monthly food baskets, additional diagnostic support, and vocational training for families. “Public participation will make the efforts successful! I am happy to share that ‘Nikshay Mitras’ have shown commitment to help 9.24 lakh TB patients. Under 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 donors who have sent their commitments, 2,818 “Ni-kshay Mitras” — individuals, public representatives, corporations, and NGOs who will adopt these patients — have already been confirmed by their respective TB officers for support to 2.77 lakh patients. After a commitment, the voluntary donors are connected with TB officers from the area where they wish to support the patient.
The TB officer concerned then goes through the list of patients who have consented and provides their details to the donor, on condition that they not share it.
Of Ni-kshay mitras already confirmed, 1,730 — or 61.4% — are individuals. Among others are 325 NGOs, 162 institutions, 86 corporate entities, 84 political parties, 56 elected representatives, 18 cooperatives, and 357 others. Data shows 82.6% of them have made a commitment to support patients for a year, 14.9% for six months, 1.5% for three years, and 1% for two years.
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The Health Ministry, in collaboration with ICMR’s National Institute of Nutrition, has developed two options for monthly food baskets that can be provided by the donors. The vegetarian food basket for adults has to contain 3 kg cereals or millets, 1.5 kg pulses, 250 g vegetable cooking oil, and 1 kg milk powder or 6 litres of milk or 1 kg groundnut.
The non-vegetarian option will have an additional 30 eggs.
For children, the basket has to contain 2 kg cereals or millets, 1 kg pulses, 150 g vegetable oil, and 750 g milk powder or 3.5 litres of milk or 0.7 kg groundnut.