Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan today decried the stigma being attached to young women in society who are diagnosed with tuberculosis.
"I think (because of TB) there is a discrimination in the society especially against young women who are to get married and those who are married... They are like (thrown) out of house. It is worst that Indian women have to go through something which can be detected and cured," Bachchan said.
He was addressing reporters at an event wherein the US Ambassador to India Richard Verma launched the 'Mumbai Dialogue: Towards a TB-free India' campaign in presence of veteran industrialist Ratan Tata.
"Married women are facing stigma, they are made alien. It is a myth that people get inflicted by the disease. People are treated like barriers. This (perception of society towards TB patients in general) is wrong and needs to be corrected," he said. The goal of the drive is to engage corporate sector to strengthen Union government's 'Call to Action for a TB -free India, launched in April.
"I happily agreed to be part of this campaign for the country. I feel obliged to Government of India, to the Embassy and Ratan Tata," Bachchan said.
On the occasion, Bachchan recalled how he contracted TB in 2000 and then fought back.
"I had worked on TB with MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai). We did events like awareness programme. I did suffer from TB in year 2000 and it was detected by accident. I did undergo treatment with a heavy dosage of medicines. If it can happen to me it can happen to anybody, but there is cure for it," the veteran actor said.
Bachchan had earlier been the face of polio eradication campaign in the country. He was brand ambassador by MCGM for its anti-TB campaign. The actor said it is important to eliminate TB just like polio had been eradicated through measures of awareness across the nation.
"We made India polio free after eight years, thanks to the efforts taken for it. We need to choose dedicated workers who should be encouraged and given facility for bringing to our notice where help is required. I am happy to cooperate," Big B said. Tata said TB is a silent killer.
"We should be concerned and try to prevent it (TB) by taking measures. It doesn't just affect poor, it can happen to rich or poor. I feel privileged to be here and being involved with something that makes difference to society," Tata said, adding "we need prosperous country of healthy people."