Vinesh a 15-year-old child who is suffering from a leprosy related deformity. As is the case with thousands of Indians every year, Vinesh was diagnosed with leprosy only after the disease had deformed his hand.
Cured of leprosy, Vinesh is still struggling with a clawed hand. He struggles to button his school shirt, he struggles to tie his shoes, he struggles to play. But more tragically he also struggles with finding playmates. His clawed hand is an easily recognised sign of leprosy and even though he is cured of the disease and can’t infect others, he has been shunned by his friends and neighbours. Vinesh shares that he does not get invited to his friend’s birthday parties anymore, nor is he asked to play by his neighbourhood kids.
Leprosy is a highly stigmatised disease. Driven by misinformation, people’s behaviour towards those affected gets extremely cruel. A cruelty which Vinesh has been at the receiving end of due to his clawed hand.
Reconstructive Surgery is a surgical intervention offered at The Leprosy Mission Trust India’s hospitals. The surgery can correct his deformity, restore his functionality and hopefully, neutralise the stigma.