Bitmay Soren had just turned 10 years old when she contracted TB in the year 2010. She was a simple school-going girl who lived with her parents and three other siblings in Ghagharjani village in Pakur district of Jharkhand. During her spare time, she would help her parents in the field.
When diagnosed with TB her family feared that she might have to face stigma and discrimination. So, they hid the information from their relatives and other villagers. As a result, Bitimay did not face any discrimination but endured physical pain. She had become weak and had to stay at home. She could not go to school or play with other children and was isolated. This physical suffering and isolation left a lasting impact on her psyche.
The childhood trauma inspired Bitimay to spread awareness about TB among the people in her village. She is passionate about making her community TB free. When she met the Aashwasan team, she saw an opportunity to fulfil her long-time desire to aid the people affected by TB and prevent others from contracting the disease. She signed up to be a TB champion and support the ACF team in spreading awareness about TB and doing work towards behaviour change.
While working with the ACF team, she helped them interact with the villagers and collect sputum samples. During her visit to the 10 villages for ACF activities, 69 people with TB symptoms were found. After the sputum test, six out of those 69 presumptive cases were found positive.
She continues to ride her bicycle to go door-to-door and disseminate awareness among the residents of her hamlet and the surrounding area and to visit the presumptive people. She encourages people to be aware of the basic symptoms and go for early screening and supports the people affected with TB in continuing their medicines.