Anti Leprosy Day : the fight against leprosy is not yet over

Anti Leprosy Day, also called as World Leprosy Day, is celebrated all over India on 30th of January to mark the Martyrdom Day of the father of our nation, Gandhiji, who showed concern to eradicate leprosy and to end the stigma and discrimination against leprosy. He set an example and displayed immense courage by nursing the wounds of Shri. Parchure Shastri, a person affected by leprosy at his ashram in Sevagram (Wardha, Maharashtra) in 1939, at the time when no medicine was available to cure the disease.

 

Since 1950, great strides have been made by several scientists, leprosy workers and policy makers in achieving complete cure with modern medicines and progressing towards controlling the disease in our country. The significant contributions made by many national and international NGOs including Government of India over the past 5 decades have transformed the dream of realizing ‘leprosy free India’ as a reality in near future, a vision which Gandhiji had cherished most to end the suffering of people affected by leprosy. Since 1983, the launch of National Leprosy Eradication Programme by the Government of India has made available the multi-drug treatment (MDT) free of cost to all people affected by leprosy at all health centres in the country.

 

ALERT-INDIA, a NGO based in Mumbai, dedicated to control leprosy in Maharashtra, observes this Anti leprosy week from 30th January to 5th February by organizing mass programmes for creating public awareness that can effectively changes the attitudes of people towards the disease and reduce the stigma. ALERT-INDIA’s teams reaches the people affected by leprosy particularly those living in slums and rural areas of Maharashtra. ALERT-INDIA strives to ensure that all persons affected by leprosy, wherever they live, have an equal opportunity to be diagnosed and treated by competent health workers, thereby enable them to lead a dignified life. Yet, the fight against leprosy is not yet over and every citizen of our country can be a part of this great effort to realize a leprosy free India, a dream of Gandhiji.

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