April 11 was yet another day when a TLMTI (The Leprosy Mission Trust India) staff made history! Dr Manotosh Elkana (MBBS, MS – Gen. Surgery), reconstructive surgery specialist and the medical superintendent of TLM Chandkhuri Hospital in Chhattisgarh received the prestigious HEALERS OF INDIA AWARD Season 2, presented by Apollo Hospitals, in collaboration with Network 18 (one of the largest media conglomerates with diversified but synergistic interests in Television with its bouquet of 50 channels in India and 13 international channels), in a function organised in New Delhi, on April 11.
March 16 was a day of rejoicing for hundreds of patients who visit TLM Chandkhuri Hospital in Chhattisgarh every day.
The hospital is situated 1 ½ km away from the bus stand on the newly opened National Highway 130 and the patients had to walk all the way to the hospital, as there was no other means of transport. Trekking on the dirt track was so cumbersome – especially for people affected by leprosy with disabilities – that many patients stopped visiting the hospital altogether.
Imagine sitting at home without a job despite being a graduate, shunned by neighbours and friends, and with no confidence to carry on with life – all because you have a physical disability.
26-year-old Mamta Gulabrao Kubade had no hope in life. She had met with an accident when she was eight years old, and that left her leg burnt. It resulted in deformity in her lower limb. Despite her disability, she completed her graduation. Job opportunities were rare and she had no confidence to seek out one. Confined to her home in Kothara village of Maharashtra, her days were dreary and nights insomnious. Her self-esteem plummeted to a new low every day.
What do children learn at summer camps? Ask the 395 children from leprosy colonies in Chandkhuri (Chhattisgarh), Muzaffarpur (Bihar) and Purulia (West Bengal) who took part in the summer camps organised by The Leprosy Mission Trust India’s (TLMTI) Children Unite for Action (CUFA) project recently.
Children are fast learners – and around 35 children from the colony where people affected by leprosy live in Chandkhuri (near TLM Chandkhuri Hospital) in Chhattisgarh and the nearby village learnt a lot on World Environment Day (June 5).