Real world learning for students affected by leprosy

The Leprosy Mission Trust India’s (TLMTI) Catch Them Young (CTY) project, under the leadership of its Programme Manager, Ms Nitha Philip, organised an exposure trip for students from Raipur and Durg, in Chhattisgarh, who are affected by leprosy, and are being supported by the project financially to finish their school education, on April 6. TLMTI’s SHGs towards Holistic Community Development (SHCD) project supported the trip.

In the exposure trip, 71 students (39 girls and 32 boys) took part, and they were taken to Nandan Van Zoo and Safari, in Raipur. They were also taken to a shopping mall in Raipur, as none of them has visited a shopping mall.

These students are studying in various schools and junior colleges in Raipur and Durg. One girl is under treatment for leprosy, while others’ parents are cured of leprosy.

Parents of some of the students do begging to earn a livelihood, while others work as domestic help and do odd jobs. Parents of students from Durg do weaving – they are members of a self-help group (SHG) established by TLMTI.

Some of these students are very good in studies. They score over 85% marks in exams. They have high ambitions in life, and some of them want to become doctors, nurses, teachers and police officers. And a girl who dances well wants to become a professional dancer.

These students are mostly confined to their own (leprosy) colonies and haven’t seen the world beyond. Hence, the project arranged the exposure trip, which provided them with an opportunity to stretch their views and transform their understanding of self and the world.

Check out the following link for photographs of the visit: