The Government of India had declared in 2005 that leprosy had been eliminated as a public health problem in India. Ever since, leprosy has become less of a priority for the Government of India. Allocation of government funds dwindled, private funding dried up and training in leprosy for government health workers became dysfunctional. Grievously enough, since then the incidence of leprosy started growing in the country with over 130,000 new cases being detected every year.
The Leprosy Mission Trust India (TLMTI), the largest and oldest leprosy-focused non-governmental organisation in India, has won the prestigious Sat Paul Mittal National Award 2018 (http://www.nskt.org/NSKT_National_Award_2018.pdf), for its outstanding work with people affected by leprosy, people with disabilities and other marginalised communities.
With the core belief that quality healthcare should be accessible to all, The Leprosy Mission Trust India (TLMTI) identified Ajuru, a tribal village in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh – where hardly any medical facilities exist – for conducting a medical camp.
The Community Intervention Unit (CIU) of The Leprosy Mission Trust India’s Shahdara Hospital in New Delhi had started two Self-Help Groups (SHGs) – Uthan Self-Help Group in Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Vandana self-Help Group in Sarvodaya Kusht Ashram, both in Tahirpur colony – where people affected by leprosy live, in October 2016.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPwD Act), which came into force in April 2017 provides various rights and entitlements to persons with disabilities. It mandates, among other things, the Central and state governments to implement global best practices for inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities.