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TLMTODAY For private circulation only

NEWSLETTER OF THE LEPROSY MISSION TRUST INDIA

Our Vision

“People affected by leprosy living with dignity in transformed communities that have overcome leprosy.”

dignity.inclusion.rights

IN THIS ISSUE

Vol. 5 No. 6

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Graduation day celebrations at VTC, Faizabad.

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Message from Head – Community Development Programmes.

Nov-Dec 2012

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Raipur MLA hoists flag on Independence Day in Residential Colony.

“But for TLM, I would have been begging for food on the streets of Sultanpur.” Shyla Francis

Sofia Bano, daughter of late Mohd Usman and Mazajul, hails from Murthi Purua village, in Sultanpur district, in Uttar Pradesh. Sofia could not attend school due to the poor financial condition of her family. 8 years back when she was 20, she was diagnosed as having leprosy. Initially she was treated at the Primary Health Centre in her village. Since she had developed ulcer, she was referred to a private leprosy hospital. Her condition worsened and she was referred to TLM Community Hospital, in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. Having had visible signs of deformity on her hand and leg, she was admitted in TLM Community Hospital, in Naini, Uttar Pradesh, where she had undergone reconstructive surgery for correcting foot drop and claw hand.

Dr Sunil Anand (right) speaking to community members

Dr Sunil Anand visits Community Development Programmes Ashish Lyall

In spite of all the medical care, Sofia's condition worsened. She was again admitted in hospital for management of complicated ulcer. Once out of the hospital, there was no means for her livelihood. Begging was her only option. At that time, TLM once again came to her with a helping hand; she was taken in TLM's Wellesley Bailey Vocational Training Centre, in Faizabad, for vocational skills training so that she can earn a decent living. The VTC trained her in tailoring, and after her training, the VTC, under its placement programme, arranged for her employment in a garment export house in Chennai. She presently earns Rs 8,000 every month. A grateful Sofia, with moist eyes, said, “But for TLM, I would have been begging for food on the streets of Sultanpur.”

BARABANKI: Dr Sunil Anand, Director, TLM India, visited Community Development Programmes office, situated in the premises of TLM Hospital, in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, on October 9, 2012. He spent about two hours in the office and interacted with all the project staff. Challenging Anti-Leprosy Legislation (CALL) Project team and Women Empowerment Project (WEP) team, whose offices are in the Community Development Programmes office, made brief presentations of their respective projects. Dr Sunil emphasized the need to have more personal commitment to bring changes in the lives of the people affected by leprosy. He also stressed the need to have proper documentation to capture the process of change which happens in the lives of people and communities affected by leprosy. After meeting the project staff, Dr Sunil visited Ramnagara village in Barabanki, to see for himself the changes brought about in the lives of people affected by leprosy by TLM India’s community development projects.

Sofia Bano got the greatest gift of her life - dignity!


DISCRIMINATION AT HOME! That’s what Ganga Pandey had to face Pavan Mukherjee

55-year old Ganga Pandey lived happily with his wife and 3 sons in Bhojpur district, in Bihar. A casual farmhand, he was no different from others in his village – struggling to earn his daily bread. But one day, he was diagnosed as having leprosy. From that day onwards, his life took a turn for the worse. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed very late… only after he had developed claw hands, and started having ulcer on his left foot. That further exacerbated the situation. Because of these tell-tale symptoms of leprosy, Ganga Pandey’s family members started distancing themselves from him - social stigma is always a bigger threat than the disease itself. With great anguish, Ganga Pandey watched the change in his family members’ attitude towards him. Hefeltterriblydiscriminated againstin hisown home. After some time, his physical condition became so bad that his family members stopped coming anywhere near him. No one from the family or the village would even talk to him. Finally, he was asked to move out of the village. For a father, it is exciting to see his children getting married. But Ganga Pandey was unfortunate; when his son got married, his wife and children asked him to stay away from home during the wedding as his presence would spoil his son’s marriage prospects. An upset Ganga Pandey stared at his fingerless hands and cursed his fate. A deeply hurt Ganga Pandey stayed in a mud house outside the village for three months until his son got married. He did not want to go back to his village where everyone considered him an outcast. At that time, TLM Community Hospital, in Naini, Uttar Pradesh, took him under its wings and provided him treatment and took care of all his needs. He is being counselled so that he can overcome the trauma of rejection and isolation. TLM has started counselling his wife and children so that they would accept him, in spite of the fact that he was once suffering from leprosy.

A practical training session

Workshop on leprosy for PHC staff in Bihar Dr Alomani Kerketta

MUZAFFARPUR: TLM Hospital, in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, had recently conducted a two-day workshop on leprosy for medical officers and general health workers of 16 Primary Health Centres in Bihar. 23 medical officers and 31 health workers attended the workshop. Civil Surgeon, Dr Gyan Bhusan inaugurated the workshop, which was organized by Dr Shiv Chandra Jha, District Leprosy Officer, and Dr Anil Kumar Sinha. The participants were all praises for TLM India for organizing this workshop, which they said, has bettered their clinical skills to diagnose and manage leprosy more effectively.

Schedule of Upcoming Events November November 1- 2 November 12 November 21-23 December December 3 December 5 December 6-7 December 8

Operations Team Retreat Third Quarter Finance Review TLM International Board meeting, London World Disability Day Provident Fund Trust Meeting Operations Team Meeting Fund Raising Event at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi

TLM TODAY Newsletter of The Leprosy Mission Trust India Registered Office: No5,AmritaShergillMarg,NewDelhi–110003. HeadOffice: CNIBhavan,16,PanditPantMarg,NewDelhi–110001. Tel: +91 11 43533300, 23716920, Fax: +91 11 23710803 Website: www.tlmindia.org

E-mail: reception@tlmindia.org

Editor: Jacob Oommen Editorial Team: Rebecca Katticaren, Pinky Pegu, John Thomas Graphic Designer: Ronnie D’Souza

New hope for Ganga Pandey in TLM Community Hospital, Naini

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TLM TODAY

NOV – DEC 2012

Please mail articles and write-ups on happenings in your unit, with good quality photographs, for publishing in TLM TODAY, to tlmtoday@tlmindia.org.


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Challenging Anti-Leprosy Legislation (CALL) Project - an advocacy project of The Leprosy Mission Trust India, funded by DFID.

Rights... that’s what CALL stands for! People affected by leprosy also have rights like the rest of us. More often than not, their human rights are violated due to misconceptions about leprosy. There are instances where they are denied their constitutional rights, including right to life, right to liberty and right to equality, among others. CALL’s objective is to empower people affected by leprosy so that they can claim what’s theirs rightfully.

Mass awareness rally by people affected by leprosy, on Gandhi Jayanti Arvinder Kaur

BARABANKI: CALL, Uttar Pradesh team, along with Women Empowerment Project team, had organized a mass awareness rally of people affected by leprosy, in Barabanki, on October 2, on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. About 250 people affected by leprosy gathered in front of the office of the District Magistrate, Barabanki, at 10:00 am. Additional District Magistrate, Mr Jitendra Pratap Singh flagged off the rally at 10:30 am, in the presence of Chief Medical Officer, Dr D.R. Singh and District Leprosy Officer, Dr A.K. Jaiswal. The rally proceeded to the District Leprosy Office, about 2kms away, with the participants shouting slogans to end discrimination against people affected by leprosy and to respect their human rights. Along the way, they distributed leaflets on leprosy and rights of the peoples affected by leprosy. Dr A. K. Jaiswal, District Leprosy Officer, addressed the participants when the rally reached his office. He explained to them various government welfare schemes and medical facilities available in the State, and offered his assistance in accessing them. The rally then proceeded to TLM Barabanki Hospital, where the participants celebrated Gandhi Jayanti by remembering Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘Father of the Nation.’ TLM India Head-Community Development Programmes, Rebecca Katticaren and Jacob Oommen, Team Leader, CALL Project, took part in the rally.

A view of the rally

People affected by leprosy sharing their experiences of discrimination

People affected by leprosy meet human rights lawyers Jacob Oommen

NEW DELHI: CALL had facilitated a meeting of lawyers of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) with representatives of people affected by leprosy, on October 13, at India International Centre. 9 representatives of people affected by leprosy, from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, shared their experiences of marginalization and discrimination, with 10 human rights lawyers, led by Mr Colin H. Gonsalves, Senior Supreme Court Lawyer. People affected by leprosy shared their experiences of discrimination, like: there are no proper educational facilities available for their children; there is shortage of medicines and basic facilities in PHCs and hence they do not get proper medical treatment; many of them have not been issued Antodaya cards, which limit their access to subsidized food items; they are not allowed to own the land where they are living for years; even if they have job cards, they do not get jobs under NREGA, as they face social stigma. Mr Colin informed the representatives of the people affected by leprosy that the Constitution of India provides remedies for enforcement of their rights and advised them to pursue the matter legally, so that the government would take action to restore their human and constitutional rights. Dr Sunil Anand, Dr Mary Verghese, Rebecca Katticaren and Nikita Sarah represented TLM India, along with CALL team.

Mr Colin Gonsalves (centre) making a point TLM TODAY

NOV – DEC 2012

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International Symposium on ‘Leprosy and Human Rights in Asia’ Dr Sadanand Bag NEW DELHI: A two-day International Symposium on Leprosy and Human Rights in Asia, was held at India International Centre, New Delhi, on 3-4 October, 2012, where people affected by leprosy, representatives of the government and NGOs of about nine Asian countries participated. The symposium was organized by The Nippon Foundation and Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation, with the objectives of raising awareness of UN resolution and Principles & Guidelines (P & G) for ‘Elimination of Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy and Their Family Members’ and to discuss how P&G can be put into action. Some of the key participants were: Mr Yohei Sasakawa (WHO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination and Chairman, The

Nippon Foundation), Ms Cecilia R.V. Quisumbing (Member, UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee), Mr Mukul Balkrishna Wasnik (Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment), Dr P.K Gopal (Advisor, National Forum India and President, IDEA India), and Mr V. Narsappa (Chairman, National Forum India). Dr Sunil Anand, Mrs Rebecca Katticaren and Dr Sadanand Bag represented TLM India. During these two days, the participants discussed the present status of people affected by leprosy, good practices, and future plan of action for the implementation of P&G for the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members.

Sensitization of lawyers on violation of human rights issues

SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN FOR

Abbas Rizvi

CALL, Chhattisgarh team

BARABANKI: CALL, Uttar Pradesh team had recently conducted a programme in Faizabad, to sensitize legal professionals on the violation of human rights of people affected by leprosy and the need to repeal laws that are discriminatory towards such people. 12 lawyers practising in theCivilCourtand in theHigh Court,attended themeeting.

RAIPUR: CALL had recently organized signature campaigns in Bhilai, Bilaspur, Janjgir-Champa, Durg, Korba, Raigarh and Raipur districts of Chhattisgarh, to engage the general community to advocate for the rights of the people affected by leprosy. Flex boards were put up in public places for the people to show their solidarity with the campaign, by signing on them.

The objective of the meeting was explained in detail by Jacob Oommen, Team Leader of CALL Project. He mentioned how people affected by leprosy and their family members were facing social and legal discrimination because of the stigma attached to leprosy. He also mentioned the need for the government to repeal laws which are discriminatory towards people affected by leprosy.

SOLIDARITY

Hundreds of people willingly came forward to show their support for the cause CALL is spearheading. An elderly Gandhian, Shri. Keur Bhusan wished CALL team success in their new initiative after registering his signature. This was a great encouragement for the CALL team.

Abbas Rizvi, State Programme Manager, CALL Project, explained the provisions in various laws in India that discriminate people affected by leprosy, and the strategy adopted by CALL to challenge such laws at the appropriate legal platforms. Many senior lawyers and advocates, including Mr Azadar Hussain, Mr M Zaidi, Mr Shabbeeh Mohd Rizvi and Mr Meraj Khan shared their views during the discussion. It was decided to form a forum of people affected by leprosy, lawyers, policy makers, social workers and journalists to advocate for the rights of people affected by leprosy.

Many people willingly came forward to show their solidarity

Stand Up For People Affected By Leprosy Respect their rights … Restore their dignity A view of the sensitization programme

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TLM TODAY

NOV – DEC 2012

TLM TODAY - Nov._Dec-2012  

The Leprosy Mission Trust India's Newsletter