#theworldscraziestdancemovie

Two women are dancing for joy in the middle of Calcutta Rescue’s TB clinic, surrounded by patients wearing green masks to prevent the spread of this potentially fatal disease.

It is November 2017 and they have just been told they are finally clear of the disease after a year and a half of treatment.

That spontaneous expression of happiness provided the spark of inspiration for this dance video involving hundreds of patients, schoolchildren and staff across all the charity’s projects in Kolkata.

The charity provides healthcare and education for some of the most disadvantaged people living in some of the worst slums in the city.

It is difficult work, in challenging conditions, and the lives of the people it helps are very hard.

But they so often demonstrate a remarkable resilience and love of life.

Every day the charity puts smiles on the faces of so many children at its schools, cures patients of life-threatening illnesses, provides medical care and pain-relief for people with everything from leprosy to fractured limbs.

So we thought why not try and capture that positive spirit in dance - something for which India is rightly famous?

The song Living in the City, by British musician Rhys Lewis, seemed like the perfect soundtrack, with its powerful message about how hard life can be in a city, and about staying and facing that challenge with courage.

And Rhys let us use his song for free.

Then all we had to do was get everyone in the charity inspired by the idea, get everyone rehearsing, and then film them in 12 different locations around the city, from the roof of a school in a red-light district to a mobile clinic parked up in one of the city’s most deprived slums.

Getting things done in Kolkata is not easy at the best of times - with the heat, the traffic congestion, the pollution, language and cultural differences…

And it wasn’t as if charity’s staffs weren’t fully occupied already.

On top of that, the three-strong film crew had just eight days to shoot it in!

No wonder the project quickly acquired the nickname #theworldscraziestdancevideo

Along the way, one of the crew narrowly escaped having his fingers sliced off by a ceiling fan while testing whether benches would support the weight of dancing patients, and another almost fainted in the 38oC heat.

But the enthusiasm of the staff and the patients for the project was exhilarating and kept everyone motivated.

From children with learning disabilities and patients crippled by leprosy to an amazing woman of 90 who had had a hip operation just a month before - everyone danced their socks off.

So if you enjoy this video and like what we are trying to do then please, please share it with all your friends, and help us spread the word about this amazing little charity.

And please consider making a donation to help the charity's work. Donate Now

Rukshana

Rukshana, who stars in the video, is a young mother who lives in a slum near Calcutta Rescue's TB clinic in Belgachia and contracted tuberculosis when her son was less than a year old.

She was sent to the clinic for treatment by a government run hospital as she was too poor to pay for the drugs she needed - her husband works in a factory earning 5,000RS - slighty over £50 or 50 Euros a month.

When she got arrived she had fever, chest and back pains and was tired all the time. Her weight was dropping, and she was depressed because she had been rejected by her parents and was being shunned by neighbours.

After three months treatment her condition had not improved, in fact tests showed Rukshana had multi-drug-resistant TB which requires a cocktail of powerful drugs to control, and which can take two years to cure.

Rukshana thought she was going to die.

And if it wasn’t for Babita, who runs the clinic, she might have.

Despite having a toddler to look after, Rukshana had to be at the clinic for hours each day and when at home she wasn’t even allowed to use the shared toilet in her slum because her neighbours feared catching the disease.

But Babita worked tirelessly at counselling and motivating her, to come to the clinic, take her drugs, and not give up.

The team also went to her home to explain the condition to neighbours and her family, to help reduce their fears, and try to get them to support Rukshana through this difficult period.

Rukshana says Babita has been like a mother to her.

And she has ignited a passion in Rushana to help other people in the same predicament.

So she now helps give health education lessons about the disease to patients and in the surrounding community.

When the team are under pressure she also assists by doling-out drug capsules into small plastic bowls for her fellow patients.

Rukshana’s is now confident that, with the help of Calcutta Rescue,  she will beat TB, it will not beat her.

This is one tough disease, and treating it demands huge reserves of patience and determination.

In India it kills 300,000 people a year and it is believed there are as many as a million  undiagnosed cases.

And once again it is spreading around the world.

But the work of CRs TB team, and the strength of people like Babita and Rukshana,  gives home that this is not a lost cause.