Music Gives Us Hope: Say TB Patients Performing at Sewri Hospital
5 young TB patients test the healing powers of music by forming a band and performing at Mumbai’s Sewri TB Hospital
Every Saturday, wards In Mumbai’s Sewri Hospital turn into a concert site where patients being treated for Tuberculosis can hear their favourite band play the latest numbers. The band’s name- ‘Band-Aid’ has been founded by five youngsters who are themselves undergoing treatment for Multi Drug Resistant TB.
“I met and became friends with a bunch of people who also suffer from MDR TB. We performed a show on March 21st TB day and received lots of compliments for it. Patients were so happy that we decided to go a step further. We created a WhatsApp group and came together. We now gather here to cheer up other TB patients so that they can get well sooner. People who have been bedridden for two years and can’t even sit, are now improving a lot.”Rahul Gupta, band member
The group was formed by 26-year-old Amin Hakim, who was first diagnosed with TB in 2011 and cured a year later. However, Amin had a relapse in 2016. He was then diagnosed with MDR-TB and has been undergoing treatments ever since.
“When I found out about TB, my life was at the threshold of a new direction. I was offered a job abroad but just 10 days before that I was diagnosed with TB. All my dreams were shattered. After that I had to undergo tests, leave my wife and kids. At the moment, just my mother lives with me and no one else. After I started pursuing music, I started enjoying myself and started feeling less stressed all the time.”Amin Hakim, TB survivor & band member
Like Amin, all the band members are familiar with the side effects induced by TB medication. Nausea, rashes, fever, hearing impairment and depression are some of the common side effects of TB medicines. The band members took to music in an attempt to keep their mind off these grueling side effects and while at it, also spread the cheer among other TB patients.
“Listening to them play music makes me happy. It soothes the pain, even if it is for 5-10 minutes.”Dinesh Soni, TB patient
“No one can be happy living in a hospital environment. This is something different. After being discharged, I will join the band,” added Aditya Jadhav, who is also a TB patient at Sewri Hospital.
India has approximately 2.8 million TB patients and about 5.4% of them are Multi Drug Resistant. Small initiatives like the one undertaken by the 5 young band members, goes a long way to help those affected with TB.
They started singing in front of the patients and my God! The world of change that I saw in patients who were on acute requirement of oxygen, bypap machines. They were so happy. They forgot about their vomiting, nausea, giddiness and weakness that are disease and drug related. This certainly works.Dr Lalit Anande, Medical Superintendent, TB Hospital, Sewri
Camera: Sanjoy Deb
Editor: Veeru Mohan
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