In the field practice areas of the Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India, maternal and child health and family planning (FP) remain the major concerns of the urban FP center. Whenever symptoms of TB are detected patients are referred to private practitioners, the health center, or the Christian Medical College. The majority of patients are treated even if they cannot afford to pay. The district TB center treats them free of charge for 2 months, but then, if they cannot pay, treatment stops, they drop out, their TB becomes resistant to drugs because of incomplete treatment, and these bacilli pose a threat to the community. The issue is how to get such patients treated free of charge and how to provide the necessary supply of drugs until the patients complete the treatment. In the urban community in question there were 50 TB cases out of a population of 13,843; 18 were males and 32 were females; 4 were aged 0-1, 10 were aged 10-19, 20 were aged 20-29, 9 were aged 30-39, and 7 were aged 40 or over. Drugs were obtained from medical colleges in 9 cases, from private practitioners in 20 cases, from the district treatment center in 13 cases, and from outside the city in 4 cases according to a study carried out by medical interns in the field practice areas in late 1994.