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Big B, Verma discuss tuberculosis on Facebook

Mumbai: US Ambassador to India Richard Verma and megastar Amitabh Bachchan came together for a live video chat on Facebook and discussed about the important issue of tuberculosis (TB) with their fans and followers.

Going live from Mumbai today, the two talked about the US Embassy’s collaboration with Bachchan for ending TB in India and US-India partnership among others, an official release said.

Speaking live to viewers, Verma thanked Bachchan “for his dedication to support the cause and for sharing his story as a TB survivor to reduce the stigma associated with TB.”

“Together we can save more lives and remove the burden this disease places on families, communities, corporations, and India,” said Verma referencing the high rates of TB-related deaths in India.

Before the live chat, the US diplomat also presented an award to Bachchan on behalf of the US Embassy in recognition of his efforts and support to the US-India partnership for the TB-free India campaign, it said.

Thanking Verma for the recognition, Bachchan said, “Last year, Ambassador Verma initiated this campaign around the fight to end TB in India, and it was a privilege to know him personally and to work with him and his team closely”.

“I am presently an ambassador for TB eradication in India for the campaign ‘TB Harega Desh Jitega’ and am a TB survivor. It is inspiring that India and the US are natural partners with a long history of collaboration on TB prevention, treatment, research, and cure, and I hope to continue to do my bit in this partnership to end TB in India,” said the 74-year-old actor.

Verma and Bachchan first came together to work on TB during the “Mumbai Dialogue: Towards a TB-free India” event organised here on September 10, 2015.

The professional engagement soon developed into a personal relationship with the two exchanging letters, updates, and sharing a stage around the common cause of TB.

On March 7 last year, Bachchan flew to Delhi to attend a reception hosted by Verma at his residence, the Roosevelt House, to commemorate World TB Day.

Bachchan had attended the reception as “TB Brand Ambassador” and a TB survivor, it added.

—PTI