Sujit Narayan Sahu

Transformation of lives

Sujit Narayan Sahu lives with his family with 3 kids. Two are studying one is too small to go to school. He narrates his sad tale when he was first diagnosed with leprosy. Due to delay in treatment he is left with grade 2 disability in both hands. His strong desire to do something for his family and do not depend on mercies of others make him live an independent life. He is thankful to NLR India for encouraging the community to organize Self-help Group of persons with disabilities including persons affected by leprosy. The group members considered his need and provided him INR 5000/- as loan against his monthly contribu􀆟on of INR 100/-per month. He started a small shop with cosmetics and children items. He is getting a small income of INR 200-300 per day. Gradually his wife also started a snack shop next to his shop. The commitment to respectable earning source and hardworking has sent a strong message to the society. The community happily takes tea and snacks served by both-husband and wife. It has greatly reduced the stigma and discrimination related to leprosy in the society He says “the family thank NLR India for keeping their dignity high”. He also thanks NLR India for suppor􀆟ng children through its education programme. Mr. Sujit has set an example to be followed by others.

Ajay

Name – Ajay,
Age – 40 years,
Location – Amroha,

Ajay was banished from his village and ended up in a leprosy colony in Amroha, India. Here he lives with his wife and son. To provide for his family he is forced to go out into the streets to beg for money. He fervently hopes that his son will never have to beg for a living. Ajay’s story shows how stigma and discrimination can affect not just individuals with leprosy, but their families as well, regardless of whether or not they also have leprosy.

“When I was only fifteen years old, leprosy changed my life. I discovered a strange spot on my skin. I thought it would disappear with me. But it only got worse. Then I also lost the feeling in my hands and feet. My family and the other villagers kept me at a distance. They would keep staring at my deformed hands and feet. They were afraid they would become affected with leprosy as well. My mother was the only one who didn’t mind touching me and caring for me. But then, suddenly, my mother died. I didn’t know what to do without her. Everyone else loathed my presence; there was not a soul willing to help me. I felt so helpless and lonely that I decided to leave my village. Afraid of all that I had to face.It was only then that I went to see a doctor. He told me I had leprosy. He gave me medicines and treated the many wounds and ulcers I had contracted. ‘You will find a leprosy colony in Amroha’, he told me. ‘You can live there.’ And so I did. Where else could I go?

My wife, son, and I live an isolated life here, together with about thirty other families. I barely have the money to provide for my family. Every day I try to get a few rupees begging. I don’t have a choice. Nobody wants to employ me because of my deformies. My greatest worry is the future of my thirteen-year-old son Shiv Kumar. He doesn’t have leprosy, but he’s discriminated all the same. There is a chance he’ll never get married. People don’t want the child of a person affected by leprosy. They simply won’t accept a marriage like that. It’s my dream that my son will never be forced to beg, and will be able to build a better life outside the leprosy colony. I don’t want him to go through the same misery I have gone through. He should not become the victim of my leprosy. I want him to pursue an educa􀆟on, as it gives him a better outlook for the future, but sadly that’s out of my hands.”NLR have reported that Ajay has now received training in self-care and his son Shiv Kumar will undergo vocational training.

Parvati Devi

LIFE IS A JOURNEY & NLR FOUNDATION MADE IT POSSIBLE

My Childhood with Leprosy

This journey started when I saw some patches on my body when I was 8 years only but my family ignored it. I used to live happily with my parents in Shettie Anchal, Nepal. Those few skin patches took over my whole body within 2 years & gradually developed neuritis in feet (inflammation of nerves which is painful and results loss of function. I developed ULCER due to my anesthetic feet. It took 3 years for me & my family to realize that it is a LEPROSY disease. I was then admitted to Nepal Missionary Hospital for treatment of feet ulcer, when I was 11.

Loneliness & darkness in life

After 3 years I came back to my home and another shock gave me a new journey where me & my healthy sister were alone. “MY PARENTS WERE NO MORE”. My sister was normal, not affected by Leprosy. Our relatives persuaded us to shift to our grandmother home because of my disability.

Social Discrimination

Over the time I felt that my maternal uncle did not allow his children to play & make any conversations with me due to fear of my disease. I was discriminated badly when it comes to utilizing public utilities. Failing to face this negligence, I left my grandmother house. With the help of one decent neighbor I got myself admitted in Pithoragarh Missionary Hospital, Uttrakhand. I was there for about 3 years for treatment.

Journey took A New Turn – Shifted to NLR Foundation Supported Leprosy Colony in Dehradun

When I was 20 years old, I got married to Mangal Singh, a resident of KKM colony, Nalapani Road, Dehradun. He is also suffering from the same disease. We were leading a happy life. We both worked in a weaving factory in KKM colony on daily wages. We adopted a normal girl child aging 3 years. We gave her a name – “GEETANJALI”

Got Education for Geetanjali

In the year 2010 NLR Foundation(NLRF) team started providing education support in our colony. I always dreamt of my children to become a well-educated one and support the family. This dream seems to be fulfilled with NLRF support. My child is getting continuous support till date.Learnt Self-Care , healed Ulcers – LIFE seems HAPPY with satisfaction of motivating others to heal

Learnt Self-Care , healed Ulcers – LIFE seems HAPPY with satisfaction of motivating others to heal

I am grateful to NLR Foundation for introducing Self Care in our colony. Since 2008 year, I am practicing it regularly & I am surprised by its outcome – Ulcers have healed to great extent. At the same time I motivate other persons affected by leprosy to make it a part of their daily routines as it does wonders. NLR Foundation is our backbone for our peaceful living, otherwise it would have been highly challenging to live on our own in such hardships. LIFE SEEMS EASY NOW!!

Sunder Mahato

I DO NOT BEG NOW

Sunder Mahato S/O Shri Agnu Mahto, 55 years old Resident of Leprosy Colony supported by NLR Foundation (Premnagar Leprosy Colony, district bokaro, Jharkhand)

Originally a resident of the village jamunia tarn of block mahuda in district dhanbad, Jharkhand

Social Discrimination

Villagers started discriminating me at all places including my work .Then I started begging. One of the disabled persons informed me about Dhorimata Leprosy Mission Hospital Bokaro. I went there for treatment too.

Later, one day I got to know about Ration distribution by P.D.S in Premnagar leprosy Colony, I went there and expressed my willingness to live with the people there to save from starvation & discrimination. Since then, I have been there with my wife. I got married in the same colony. For my livelihood, I started pig farming but unfortunately some of the pigs got diseased & died. I stopped pig farming then after.

My life became bit-relaxed & easy after meeting NLR FOUNDATION Team in the year 2011. They taught me SELF CARE Practice

Highly effective in healing my wounds & stooped further complications in my skin & nerves. In 2014, I participated in the Personality development workshop conducted by them. I did not want to beg anymore. I do not beg now. I started pigging again. I have 32 healthy pigs now to earn livelihood for me & my wife. Today, I do mobilization & encourage Self-Care practice for other people to enable them to be healthy, independent & productive.

Sushma

Don’t Surrender

Sushma Jadaun, 15 year old lives in a village Sarkar in Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh state with her family. Her father is a laborer and her mother is a house wife. She has 2 brothers and one sister as her siblings.

5 years back she had tingling sensation in her right hand and gradually her hand became weak & senseless. She was treated for leprosy. Deformity in her hands have derived which is clearly visible by others and as a result in her school she was known as a leprosy affected persons. She said that “mujhe kushth rogiyo ki tarah dekha aur vyavhar kiya jaata tha”, translating it to English “I was called by Leprosy sufferer and treated me with discriminatory behavior”.

Her classmates started keeping distance from her but she continued her studies and tolerated loneliness, discriminations and frustrations.

Then her father took her to join SELF CARE CAMP at Bangra CHC organized by NLR Foundation. She not only learnt practicing self-care but also followed it regularly & sincerely. Results were surprising, her hands became soft & supple in a very less time. Reconstructive surgery was also performed by TLM hospital Naini. NLR Foundation also supported her to continue education.

Now she states that “Mai sabhi chunnotiyon ka samna karne k liye tayyar hu” which means that “I am ready to face all challenges”.

There are many hurdles in the life of every person. If these hurdles are overcome, targets can be achieved in due course of life. We should always be hopeful and search for ways to proceed, people are always there to help you.

Rasna Mardi

An Inspiring Teacher: to teach is to touch lives forever

Rasna Mardi is a 25 years old girl who has not only achieved her dreams but is also helping many other children to achieve heights in their career.

She is a daughter of Mr. Lakhan Mardi and Mrs. Chandmuni Mardi who are disabled due to Leprosy since birth. She is residing with her parents in the Birsa Leprosy colony, Gaurkhunti, District, Dhanbad, Jharkhand. Begging is the only source of income for livelihood of the family . In 2011, She was studying in class 12th, when her education got discontinued due to various problems including financial problem. Rasna stated that “inhone mujhe KG se matric tak bahut hi kashton se padai karvayi hai aur uske baad ghar ki kharab isthiti k karan padai rok di lekin mera bahut man tha” (My parents taught me from Nursery KG class to 12th Class with extreme hitches & troubles, but later on due to worse situations, I had to stop my further education although I wish hard to opt for higher studies.)

Fortunately, in the same year 2011, NLR Foundation started its program related to education support in that colony. Rasna got the opportunity to prove her skills and she pinned it suitably.

She got admission in BA History (Hons.) with NLRF support by paying college fee. She is sincere in her studies and scored pretty well in graduation. She completed it in year 2013 with 70 % marks. Then after she started teaching in one of the nearby schools to her colony in denobli, dhanbad. Her salary was Rs. 4000/- through which she supported her parents.

Unfortunately her mother died one year ago in 2015. It was shocking for her. There are no siblings hence only 2 persons, she & her father are left in the family. There are no relatives to support them morally even at this time due to discriminatory issues.

She didn’t lose hope. She believed in her abilities and went out of the colony for better future. She appeared for the interviews in different schools and as a result of her hard work, now she is History teacher in a reputable school- Sarswati Vidya Mandir,Ratanpur Gadi Tundi,Dhandad and She is being paid Rs 9000/- Per month salary in addition to facilities of PF , accommodation & Food. So now she stays in town of dhanbad instead of staying in Leprosy colony which is 40 km far away. She cares for his father a lot, so she goes to meet him weekly for two days i.e. every Saturday & Sunday and takes care of his health. She makes sure that he follows self care practice regularly which he learnt in the self-care training camps organized by NLRF in the colony.

She says that “bacho ko pada kar mujhe bahut santushti milti hai” which means that “I feel great sense of satisfaction when I teach children”. So as to flourish in her career, she had opted for B.P.Ed (Bachelor of Physical Education) Distance education from St. Lahugee Collage Chandur, Nagpur (MP), this year. She is studying this course along with her Job. She will go for marriage once she completes the studies.

She is happy today, fulfilling up her dreams and thanked NLR Foundation for right support at the right time.

Shiv Shankar

Encouraging wellbeing & happiness to end Leprosy

Shiv Shankar, aged 57 years earning his livelihood in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi through opening of general shop with the NLRF support.

Leprosy has stunned the life of Shiv Shanker Tiwari, resident of Satya Jeevan Kusht Ashram, Sriniwaspuri, New Delhi. In the absence of any means of earning, he used to go for begging like many other leprosy affected persons to support self and his family members.

He was 16 years old and was living in South India i.e Hughly district nearby Bangalore in Karnataka with his parents , when he first time saw patch on his left hand. He was studying in class 11th and was a NCC Camp student. He was a dynamic young boy but this disease thrashed him. At that time, MDT was not available, hence he got treatment by Dapsone therapy. As the treatment was not that effective, with time deformity in hands had developed. And then as expected from the society, he was discriminated by the relatives and friends and had to drop his studies.

He got married too with Leprosy affected person. After 2 years, when he was around 19 years, he moved out of his home town with her wife and kids and shifted to Delhi in Leprosy Colony. He took his treatment in Nirmal hospital near Shahdra in Delhi. Unfortunately , after few years his wife got expired and then got remarried with Laxmi, one of the Leprosy Colony residents who took care of his total 6 children.

In October 2011, When NLR Foundation started their interventions in Leprosy colony, Shiv Shanker took active participation in Self Care Training Camps and started practicing it individually as well as in group with other patients. As a result, he recovered from the ulcers in his hands & feet with ease. Starting from year 2011, He also got education support by NLRF for 2 of his kids – (Vikas studying in class 8th and Ajay studying in class 6th now). He had also been benefitted by General Health Camps conducted in the colony by NLRF with the support of Govt. Health Staff.

He started gaining confidence in himself. He is one of the most active participant in that Leprosy colony who sets example for other persons affected by Leprosy without being getting affected by any sort of Stigma.

Now he was prepared enough and was in a position that he could think of doing something for his livelihood other than the begging He came up with a business idea of establishing a roadside temporary shop next to the doorsteps of Satya Jeevan Kusht Ashram, Sriniwaspuri, New Delhi. He was in dire need of a capital amount. The local money lenders were offering easy money against huge interest rates i.e 10 to 12 % and on daily repayment basis.

In November 2016, on his request to NLRF and looking towards his determination & passion to earn, NLRF has decided to provide financial support to him for purchasing goods to sell in his shop. Under the microfinance project of Livelihood program, NLRF supported him with capital amount of Rs 5000/- as interest free loan.

With his good interpersonal skills, developed with time, he is able to earn Rs 7000/- per month on average with good profit amount. It is remarkable that he had also started repayment i.e. Rs 1000 per month since last 3 months

Mr. Tiwari thanked NLRF for timely support and hopes for continuous education support for his kids. Out of his 6 children, 2 elder sons got married now and are also earning through vocational training support received by NLRF.

Recently, in one of the important meetings of ILEP i.e. International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations, Shiv Shanker was invited as a beneficiary , as one of the successful & inspiring person affected by leprosy who has come out of all the obstacles with a positive attitude. He had astonished everyone in the meeting with his speech and a great fighting spirit in life.

Chandan Kumar

Dubte ko Tinke ka Sahara Story of Aspiring Chandan Kumar

I wish best regards to NLR Foundation(NLRF) team who made me what I am today which looked like impossible 3 years before. I am proud that I could earn and support my family , as a result “my parents stopped begging”.

I was born in a poor family and unluckily my parents are disabled due to Leprosy and was living in a Leprosy Colony since birth. In 2010 , NLRF started their involvement in our colony for Self Care practice meant for wound healing, ulcer healings & prevention of disability in persons affected by leprosy where my parents also participated with other colony members.

During that time, I was very upset & worried about my studies. I had passed class 10th with the education support provided by another NGO, who supports education upto 10th standard only, after which, I had no clue for my future, there was no one to support and further guide me. I always wanted to be selfreliant and wanted to make my parents proud.

I requested Pradhan Ji of our colony and NLRF team to consider my urge for further studies so as to shape my career and become self dependent.

Then after, NLRF provided all sort of support to ensure my education in 11th & 12th class, even coaching fee was provisioned along with stationary, uniform etc. I kept my promise, studied sincerely without missing any class in school and secured 1st division in class 12th with 68% marks.

NLRF recommended me for Computer training course called COPA at one of the good training centers in Champaran district of Chhattisgarh. NLRF gave me travel fare , training fee & uniform to pursue this course without any obstacles. I completed COPA course in 2014 July and then immediately joined PNB bank as data operator in the same district and started earning Rs 7000 per month with other benefits. I continued the job for 1 year and then got another opportunity in a reputed corporate in Raipur with a salary of Rs 12000.

I am very grateful to NLRF. NLRF came in my life at the right time and helped me as per my requisites. NLRF set an example of “doobte ko tinke ka Sahara” in my life which I will never ever forget.

Malti Paswan

Fighting Leprosy Everyday with Courage

Malti Paswan, 55 year aged living with 3 daughters in Ram Nagar Colony and her husband died 20 years before

Malti grew up in a poor family where the source of income was through begging. She got married when she was only 15 years old. By then she didn’t have any complaints. The first symptoms started when she was 20, her legs and feet felt numb and she experienced pain attacks. She was diagnosed with leprosy in the local hospital and received proper treatment. Luckily her husband supported her throughout treatment. By that time she became mother of 3 beautiful daughters.

Both she and her husband were illiterate and couldn’t get paid work. Their source of income was through begging only. When her husband died 10 years after her diagnosis, Malti had to take care of her three daughters by herself. This was the most difficult period, she didn’t have any social contacts to help her. She had lost her friends and family when she got diagnosed with leprosy and her surroundings were avoiding her because of the deformities. This proves how big the social stigma on leprosy still is…

Seven years ago Malti learnt about the existence of the Ram Nagar leprosy colony. She decided to move there in the hope to receive more acceptance and understanding. This turned out to be good decision, in this colony she feels safe and happy. She has a lot of friends here, quite opposite to her previous situation.

Besides these social struggles, Malti also experienced issues because of her deformities, until a couple of years ago, she was having pain attacks in her feet while she was walking. Luckily this pain is almost gone since the NLRF provides her with MCR-shoes. These shoes are made of Micro Cellular Rubber which supports the feet to prevent pressure points or wounds. Besides using the shoes, Malti also participates in a Self-Care Group. Here she learns how to take care of her feet.

The delay between the first rising symptoms and the start of the treatment is the reason both her hands and feet are badly deformed. With such deformities in her hands, it seems almost impossible to do the household chores properly. Yet Malti proves her grit , courage & fighting spirit by showing how much she can manage to do with her deformed hands.

The tools of the NLRF are simple but smart inventions which can be very helpful for patients without any function of the fingers.

Malti told that “mere haatho mei ajeeb sa dard hota tha jab bhi ghar k , rasoi k kaam karti hu , self care seekhne se, mujhe pta chal gya h kise haatho k dhyan rakhna hai dard se bachne ke liye” , when translating it into English it means “My hands become quite sore after home cleansing or cooking. Through my participation in the Self Care Group, I have learned some tricks to release the pain”

SP Kumari

Dare to dream big aspiring sai purnima kumari

Father – Mahesh Kalindi

Mother- Laxmi devi

Grand Parents – Mr. Tapan Kalindi & Raimoni devi who are leprosy affected and shifted to leprosy colony before Purnima’s Birth

School – Vyavsahik Samiti High School

Class – 9th

Honorable NLR India Foundation is providing continuous education support to me & my siblings since last 3 years before which education was a dream for us.

My father earns only Rs 2500 through labor job and my mother is a house wife. With this earning, managing basic home amenities is very tough for my parents and providing continuous education to us is a way challenging.

Many times we were deferred from the school due to non- submission of school fee

“I WANT TO BE A NURSE”

Thankfully, now we go school daily with the support of NLR India Foundation. I am pleased to say that I secure 60 % marks where as in earlier times, I hardly secure 40%.

I am hoping for continuous assistance from NLR India Foundation to accomplish my goals in LIFE!!