About Us

The Leprosy Mission Trust India

Portrait of a century and a half-old commitment

The Leprosy Mission Trust India (TLMTI), founded in 1874 as the ‘Mission to Lepers’ by an Irishman named Wellesley Cosby Bailey, is the largest leprosy-focused non-governmental organisation (NGO) in India. TLMTI is registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and is headquartered in New Delhi, India. The organisation works with people affected by leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), people with disabilities, and marginalised communities. TLMTI has a diverse set of programmes, namely, Healthcare, Sustainable Livelihood, Community Empowerment, Advocacy and Communication, and Research and Training. These programmes are implemented through 16 hospitals, six vocational training centres, four residential care homes for elderly persons affected by leprosy, nine community empowerment projects, and a molecular research laboratory, spread across 9 states of India.

TLMTI celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2014. What was started in 1874 for giving shelter to persons considered as ‘outcasts’ at a time when there was no cure for leprosy has become India’s largest leprosy-focussed non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Presently, TLMTI has around 900 staff working in various capacities in its institutions and projects. It is a member of The Leprosy Mission Global Fellowship.

Our Vision

People affected by leprosy living with dignity in a transformed, inclusive society that has overcome leprosy.

We aim to achieve transformation of society, communities, and people affected by leprosy, so that leprosy, as a disease, and its associated deep-rooted, age-old fear and stigma are overcome. And because of this, people affected by leprosy are included in the development process and live as valued and useful members of society.

Our Mission

We work with individuals and communities disadvantaged by leprosy, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, by addressing their physical, mental, social and spiritual needs to uphold human dignity and eradicate leprosy.

Our value

Being like Jesus means that our lives will be influenced by His life and teachings, which will reflect in our work/activities.

As a reflection of this value, we will:
  • Work with compassion
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • Value men and women
  • Be servant-leaders
  • Be responsive to the needs of people affected by leprosy and other marginalised sections of society
  • take time apart as an organisation to retreat into God’s presence to find direction, wisdom, and ability to move forward in our service to Him

Being professional means that as an organisation, we are committed to excellence and high ethical standards in our attitude, actions and management systems.

As a reflection of this value, we will:
  • strive for excellence in all we do
  • be good stewards of time and resources
  • mentor and build capacity of our teams at all levels
  • foster team culture and ownership
  • develop good systems and practices
  • be accountable to those whom we seek to assist and those who fund that assistance
  • be transparent in our dealings
  • demonstrate mutual respect
  • be participatory in our practice

Having integrity means that individually as staff, and collectively as an organisation, we will conduct ourselves honourably in all our actions.

As a reflection of this value, we will:
  • be truthful
  • be transparent in our activities and processes
  • be reliable
  • adhere to the highest standards of service and accountability
  • be good stewards of all that is entrusted to us

Being relevant means that as an organisation, we will strategically develop and adapt to the current environment.

As a reflection of this value, we will:
  • be a learning organisation
  • be sensitive to the changing environment and the emerging needs of the organisation and primary stakeholders
  • be innovative
  • accept diversity
  • be participatory in our working
Upholding Justice

Upholding justice means that as an organisation, we will uphold social justice and equity for equal access to community resources and opportunities.

As a reflection of this value, we will:
  • protect and promote human rights collaboratively
  • support equity
  • support fair dealings
  • prioritise the most vulnerable and marginalised people
  • engage with communities in a participatory way to secure justice

Being inclusive means that as an organisation, we will ensure that all marginalised and excluded people are stakeholders in the development processes.

As a reflection of this value, we will:
  • be inclusive in our programmes and policies
  • accept diversity
  • accept and work with people from different backgrounds
  • demonstrate mutual respect
  • be non-discriminatory
  • be participatory

Being humble means as an organisation we will appreciate and respect who and what others are and their contribution.

As a reflection of this value, we will:
  • be open and teachable
  • seek and provide honest feedback
  • be willing to change for continuous improvement
  • learn from mistakes and successes in equal measure
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The problem of leprosy

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, with multidimensional consequences. A potentially crippling disease, leprosy affects millions even today, trapping them in a web of poverty, disability and social exclusion.

Leprosy is unique in that unlike other diseases, the age-old stigma attached to the disease (due to the myths and misconceptions associated with the disease) creates barriers to early diagnosis and treatment. Among communicable diseases, leprosy is a leading cause of permanent physical disabilities. Leprosy, if not diagnosed and treated early, can cause nerve damage resulting in irreversible loss of sensation in hands, feet and eyes. This is followed by a loss of muscle function and paralysis affecting hands, feet and eyes. Injuries sustained in activities of everyday living in limbs and eyes that have lost protective sensation, lead to repeated ulceration and disability. This perpetuates stigma and discrimination against those affected and their families. In fact, the person continues to live with the consequences of the disease even after it is cured.

Current leprosy situation

Multidrug therapy (MDT) was introduced as a safe and effective cure for leprosy in 1982, and since then there is a significant change in the global leprosy situation – the prevalence of the disease reduced from over 5 million cases in the mid-1980s to a little over 200,000 at the end of 2018.

Data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that in 2019, a total of 202,185 new cases of leprosy were reported from 160 countries. India was at the top of the list with 114,451 cases (56.61 per cent of the total caseload), followed by Brazil (27,863 cases, that is 13.78 per cent of the caseload) and Indonesia (17,439 new cases, that is 8.63 per cent of the caseload). Together, these three countries accounted for 79.01 per cent of the global caseload.

Our Programmes

  • Healthcare logoHealthcare Programme #
  • Sustainable logoSustainable Livelihood #
  • Community logoCommunity Empowerment #
  • Advocacy logoAdvocacy Programme #
  • Research logoResearch Programme #
  • Research logoTraining Programme #

Our presence in India

We have our programmes operational in nine states of India, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. These programmes are implemented through 14 hospitals and two clinics, six vocational training centres, five residential facilities for the care of elderly persons affected by leprosy and having leprosy-related disabilities, nine community development projects, a molecular biology research laboratory, advocacy and communication, and research and training functions.

Our expertise is in the following areas:

  • All aspects of leprosy as a medico-social issue, including specialised leprosy referral services.
  • Primary-level promotive and preventive healthcare through community outreach; institution-based and community-based disability management and livelihood skills training; laboratory-based, clinical, and social science research; community-based rehabilitation and inclusive development; advocacy and communication; project management; monitoring and evaluation; training; and audit and risk management.
  • Secondary-level general healthcare, such as dermatology, ophthalmology, general medicine, general surgery, and obstetrics and gynaecology.

Our Partnerships

TLMTI believes that only by working together with people affected by leprosy, and our supporters and partners, we can bring holistic healing, social inclusion and human dignity to people affected by leprosy. Hence, we implement our programmes across the country working with various partners. They include Central and state governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP), corporates, faith communities, grassroots-level organisations, and national and international development and research bodies.

Our contributions in bringing about change in the lives of people affected by leprosy

Throughout its 146 years of existence, TLMTI has addressed the healthcare and multiple social needs of tens of thousands of people affected by leprosy, through its various programmes. In the last five years (2015-19), its programmes have:

Benefitted more than 3.2 million patients.

Equipped more than 5,600 people with livelihoods skills.

Provided financial assistance for education to more than 8,700 students affected by leprosy/disability

Empowered more than 2.2 million people through community development interventitons.

Its strate engagemtnt with policy makers in 2014-15 rewsulted in the Law Commission of India submitting its Report no. 256 on ‘Eliminating Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leporsy (EDPAL)’ to the Govermment of India. The report also provides a model draft law to repeal laws that are discriminatory towards persons affected by leprosy.