Pakistani TB patients tell a different story - through photos

January 17th, 2012 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Jan 17 (IANS) A caged parrot, a flock of pigeons about to take off, a young girl with bright eyes and a ladder that signifies the resolve to stand on one’s own feet — all are pictures taken by tuberculosis patients that show a different picture of Pakistan.

The photographs are being put up at an exhibition titled “Tasweer-i-Zindagi” at the Indus Hospital in Karachi, Dawn News reported.

The display of around 60 photographs has been organised by the hospital as part of its effort to create awareness about tuberculosis and help create a “supportive environment” for the people affected by the disease.

The 36-year-old Tasleem Anwar’s photo of a ladder — even if the viewer misses its caption — indicates what symbol the ladder stands for.

The patient’s struggle to pick up the threads of life, or go up and down life’s rocky path is effectively depicted in the picture, the report said.

TB treatment supporter Azra Jawaid’s picture of a girl patient, who shies away from discussing her disease, with tablets in her hand is a story in itself.

Zainab has recently successfully recovered from the disease. She is married to Nazir, who paints houses.

“It felt good when they asked us to take pictures and made me learn how to do that. When I was down with TB, it was one of the most difficult periods of my life. But my husband stood by me and the treatment also worked well. As for the picture I’ve taken, it also makes me feel good about myself,” she said.

Zainab’s photograph has three of her children caught in a candid moment.

TB research associate Sana Sajun said people try to categorise TB patients in a certain way “which is why they feel isolated”.

Dawn said that if the picture of a parrot in a cage “represents our attitude though which we can get TB patients rise above their illness and low self-esteem”, the picture of a beautiful young girl taken by her uncle Nasir Hussain who thinks he passed on the disease to his innocent niece brims with optimism.

The girl’s eyes say it all — hope, health and happiness.

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