Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Podarites Participate in Anti-leprosy Programme

Podarites Participate in Anti-Leprosy Programme

The martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi (30th January) is observed as Anti-leprosy day throughout the world. It is also called “International Anti-leprosy day”. NGOs, international voluntary agencies and government machineries observe a week-long programme starting from 30th Jan. to 5th Feb. giving scientific information on leprosy to the masses and sensitising the public on the disease. Various activities in public places are organised for disseminating message on leprosy.

SOMETIME IN 1945, Prof. T. N. Jagadisan invited Mahatma Gandhi to inaugurate the Kasturba Kushta Nivaran Nilayam building in Tamil Nadu. Gandhiji wrote back, "Get someone to open it; opening a hospital is not a big matter, but I shall come to close it.'' By this Gandhiji meant that leprosy should be soon eliminated so that there won’t be any need for leprosy hospitals.

Mahatma Gandhi's cherished dream of a leprosy-eliminated India has come true. Thanks to the support of the various NGOs, national and international bodies along with the Government machinery, the number of leprosy cases has come down from 40 lakhs in 1982 to less than 1 lakh today. Since the Prevalance Rate has come down to less than 1 per 10,000 population in India, the govt. has declared that leprosy has been eliminated.

Leprosy is completely curable today. An air-borne disease caused by mycobacterium leprae, leprosy was a scourge to humanity and it had a lot of misconceptions. Leprosy is a socio-medical problem. Though the number of leprosy cases has come down, the stigma still prevails. A lot need to be done with regard to rehabilitation of persons affected with leprosy (PALs).
Indian Development Foundation (formerly Indian Leprosy Foundation) inaugurated the Anti-leprosy week at its Registered Office in Mumbai. IDF branches all over India will be conducting various events during the week i.e. from 30th Jan to 5th Feb.

As part of anti-leprosy week programme, around 200 students from Podar International School in Santacruz (W), Mumbai participated in the leprosy awareness campaign this morning (31/01/07). Students under the Community Activity Service Programme (CAS) from the International Baccalaureate stream visited a leprosy home in North Mumbai, Vimala Dermatological Centre at Versova and took active part in the social programme.

Dr. Narayan B. Iyer, National Co-ordinator of IDF gave scientific information on leprosy to the students and later an interactive session helped in clearing the doubts related to the disease. He said, students’ participation in leprosy elimination programmes needs to be written in the letters of gold.

Ms. Sarala, CAS Co-ordinator led the group of students from Podar International School and visited along with a couple of teachers.

Students visited the male and the female wards in the leprosy Centre, discussed with the patients and wished them a speedy recovery. Later the students also interacted with the children at the Centre and gave them a feeling of satisfaction by extending love and concern.

Podar International School has identified IDF projects for their CAS programmes and they will be visiting a couple of projects in Mumbai doing social work in their allocated hours.

IDF Public Relations Division (9819131388)

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