March 23, 2017, New Delhi, India

On the eve of World TB Day, the Global Coalition of TB Activists (GCTA) and the Global Coalition Against TB (GCAT), supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, conducted a Candle light vigil to honour the memory of the nearly 500,000 people who lost their lives to TB over the past year in India.

Over 200 people gathered together in solidarity, lit candles and observed a minute silence. Officials from the Health Ministry, civil society, private sector and community were present and participated in the vigil. We were especially glad for the presence of Health Secretary MoHFW Mr. C.K Mishra, Economic Advisor Mr. Arun Kumar Jha, and Dr. Sunil Khaparde DDG- TB, along with Dr.Swarup Sarkar, Director, Department of Communicable Diseases, WHO SEARO and other colleagues who interacted with members of the community.

Partners from the National Institute of TB and Respiratory Diseases (NITRD), Partnership for TB Care and Control (PTCC), World Vision, TB Alert, Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM), PATH, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Project Concern International (PCI) and Strategic Alliance Management Service (SAMS) were present to lend their support and encouragement to the event. Those present were given t-shirts and caps, provided by SAMS, commemorating the event.

Blessina Kumar, CEO(I) spoke for a few minutes explaining the significance of the vigil and the importance of joining hands together to END TB. She also referred to the recent announcement by Government of India to End TB in India by 2025 and called for collaborative action towards this.

The event ended with all present signing a Pledge emphasizing their commitment to End TB in India by 2025.

The coming together of key stakeholders from different fields marks a historic step in the direction of cooperation and solidarity. The GCTA would like to thank everyone who was present in making this event a resounding success.

TB Harega Desh Jeetega! (TB looses, India wins)

Let us Unite to End TB!