When a family member contracts TB

An interview with Manushi Naskar

At Loreto Rainbow House

Posted on December 22nd , by Sreyashi Basu

What’s your name?

Manushi Naskar.

You’re very sweet and how old are you?

11 years.

So you are studying at Loreto Rainbow house. Do you have a dream to become something? I wanted to be a singer at your age.

Me too! But I also want to be a teacher, scientist, doctor and an astronaut.

Are you okay to talk about TB? It’s okay if you don’t want to do this.

I want to talk.

Do you know anyone who had the disease?

Yes, my father did.

How did you know your father had TB?

My father used to cough a lot and draw a lot of blood while coughing. He also became very thin.

As in he didn’t eat, didn’t feel hungry?


Okay and he had been coughing for a long time right?

Yes, a lot. He used to vomit first thing in the morning. I don’t know about the vomit, but his cough was bloody.

When did you understand he had TB? Was it when you went to the doctor?

No, we went to a mission, where the mother admitted him. He was given medicines and he became better, but he didn’t want to stay there so he escaped back home.

Oh no, was he not looked well looked after at the mission home?

Yes, he was! And he became healthy there. But when he returned home he started drinking, smoking beedis and having khaini again.

What was your reaction when you first got to know he had TB? Were you scared or did you not know about it at all?

I didn’t know anything about TB then so I was scared something would happen to him.

Yes, even I would’ve been. I didn’t know anything about it at your age either. I would be upset.

I did, I cried a lot.

But when he became well you were happy right?


You love him a lot right?

Yes, he loves us a lot too.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Yes, I have an elder sister, who made my father very upset because she ran away from her hostel. And I have a brother who’s very hot-headed, he disturbs our parents a lot. he’s very violent.

Even I have a very naughty 12 year old brother. He cheats when we play card games. But I love him, just like you love your siblings.

I once told my mom ‘Do you not love me’? She felt very bad so I apologised. There’s a sister who comes here, we love each other a lot but I fought with her once. We talk now though.

Your father’s fine now. But have you ever asked him to leave his bad habits?

I’m scared of him. I once hid his stuff, he was very angry, turned the house upside down.

What does your father do for a living?

He doesn’t have a steady job. He’s a mason, makes buildings and houses.

Do you know anyone else who had TB?

My uncle died of TB. And my grandfather of cancer. My father dropped out of school and developed these bad habits young, my grandma tells me stories about him. My brother is like him. He’s smart but he won’t study or give exams.

That’s a shame. Do you like to study?

yes! I like English but I’m shy to talk in English.

You learnt about TB today. Did you like the workshop? Is there anything that you liked the most?

Yes,I enjoyed it. I loved the puppet show.

Wow, very nice! I didn’t know anyone who had TB, so I learnt a lot talking to you about it. And so did you right? You can tell others about what you learnt today.

Yes, yes I will.

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