World TB Day 2018
The Rainbow TB Forum organised different activities for World TB Day 2018. The common objective was to raise awareness among the population of Virudhunagar district.
First, as the week before March 24th was the End TB Week, the Rainbow TB Forum organised an intervention in a college. This event took place in Virudhunagar Hindu Nadars’ Senthikumara Nadar College on March 17th, one week before World TB Day. This meeting was the initiative of 5 Rainbow TB Forum leaders, and allowed the network to raise awareness among all the students of the computer department. Mercy Annapoorani, director of the Rainbow TB Forum, and the 5 organising leaders explained to them what was
TB, how it spreads, how to be treated and to self-protect. Muthamil, coordinator of the Rainbow TB Forum, presented the network to the students, and elaborated on how it could help them and their relatives if necessary.
The Rainbow TB Forum members stayed 2 hours at the college, and the meeting was a success. The students were interested, and asked questions.
RTBF organised a petition to the MLA to defend TB patients’ rights. On March 23rd the Rainbow TB Forum went on March 23rd to the MLA office. A group of 11 persons comprised of by Mercy Annapoorani, Muthamil Selvan and Rainbow TB Forum leaders and members brought a petition that they all signed. This document has the objective to improve the TB patient's quality of life and ensure that their rights are respected. As a network of affected communities, it is the Rainbow TB Forum's duty to advocate for TB patient's rights. The group of 10 people allowed the MLA the time to read the 6 stipulations of the petition. Then Mercy Annapoorani took a few minutes to explain the work and objectives of the Rainbow TB Forum, and why the government representatives should participate more to protect our communities.
The Hindu Tamil published two displays about World TB Day and the Rainbow TB Forum: one on March 24th about the activities organised this day by the network, and one on March 25th about TB awareness. The members of the Rainbow TB Forum also placed notices in the pages of 500 copies of the Dinamani Newspaper.
Awareness activities on March 24th
At 10:30 a.m, 7 EduClowns and 16 RTBF members and leaders distributed notices at the Railway Station - to people waiting for a train, people already inside trains or getting off onto the platform. The group then moved to the bus stand, and finished their distribution on the market road. No less than 3000 notices were distributed, an effective way to achieve a wide reach. The EduClowns caught the attention of the crowds, making them laugh and smile, and crucially, making them want to know what the performance was about.
To reach as much people as possible, 10 banners were also fixed around the Virudhunagar block: at the bus stand, on the road of the railway station, at the petrol station, in two governmental hospitals, one in front of Blossom’s office, and finally 4 in the neighbouring streets. The EduClowns, the banners and the notices allowed the Rainbow TB Forum to inform people about TB and achieve a high level of visibility for the occasion.