The center Saraswati Kumari attends is located in Meethapur I. The entrance is at a dusty intersection, between stalls selling fruit and car parts. Inside the center, the walls are painted blue, and I can see the shelf stocked with OpASHA patient medication boxes in a back room.
Payal: A positive attitude can win any fight.
Payal comes to the Prahladbur center in the morning, accompanied by her mother. She is wearing a white and brown kurta, with bright red flip flops and blue-painted toenails. She appears to have recently lost a couple of her front teeth, but otherwise closely resembles her mother, who sits next to her in a bright blue and yellow kurta.
Ram Shree: An XDR Patient
On my way to Ram Shree’s house, a 50 year old XDR-TB patient, I was a bit scared as well because XDR-TB which is an extensively drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, spreads bacteria very rapidly and therefore everyone at office instructed me to take all the necessary precautions.
I met Ram Shree in her dark, isolated room- the doors and windows closed. It immediately sent a message to me that she does not want to see the world around her. I greeted her and was grateful to OpAsha for providing medicines from our center, which is really close to her house. We slowly started talking about her health, her family and then gradually she started to open her heart to me.
Ram Shree got married 35 years ago and started living in Delhi with her spouse. Her husband worked as a watchman, and she worked as household help. This was the story of a couple who were together with access to basic amenities of life, working hard and supporting the family and striving for a better future.
Nisha lives at the end of a row in the slums of Meethapur. Just beyond her house lie dusty fields interspersed with green pools of stagnant water, filled with rubbish. Dogs lie in the shade, trying to keep cool. We enter her home, and her mother brings over plastic chairs for us to sit on. As my eyes adjust to the shadows of the tiny room, the first thing I notice about Nisha, who is seated on the bed, is how thin she is. She is 18 years old, in the 12th class, but looks much younger. Originally from Buxar, in Bihar, she found out that she had TB when she was admitted to the hospital for a ruptured vein.