Sandra Vischer, the American writer once said, “The woman who is my best friend, my teacher, my everything: Mom.”
Seema also would say the same thing about her mother. Seema belongs to a shepherd community in Amravati district of Maharashtra. Amravati is endowed with grasslands and meadows, a veritable haven for grazing. Even as a child, Seema used to accompany her mother when she took their cattle for grazing. In the warm afternoons, they used to lie down under the lush canopy of ancient trees near the edge of the forest while her mother sang lullabies, the ambience of which she cherishes even now.
For the 13-year-old Gaganand, life was all about playing with friends. His days were filled with frolic and loads of fun. He loved playing cricket with his friends. But one day, two years ago, all this came to an abrupt end.
Gaganand was studying in Class 3 at that time. His mother, Savita Raju Rathore, noticed a discoloured patch on his body. As there was no sensation on the patch, she thought something was amiss and took him to the local doctor, who diagnosed him with leprosy.
“I was scared and my future seemed bleak. There was no hope,” says twenty-one-year-old Shilpa Rauteke, recalling the time she was diagnosed with leprosy three years ago. Shilpa developed patches on her hand and went to the local PHC for treatment.
It is a proven fact that leprosy is a leading cause of permanent physical disabilities among communicable diseases. But what is the best way to prevent disabilities caused by leprosy? The answer is undoubtedly early detection of the disease and treatment with multidrug therapy (MDT).