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SUCCESS STORIES - Leprosy

Help at last...

Mrs. Vaijayanthi is 30 years. She is from Chapra in Bihar. It was about 10 months back she noticed that she was easily getting burns in her left hand and was not feeling any pain. She consulted local doctor who prescribed some ointment and gave her some drugs. When she did not get any relief even after five months, she told her neighbour who prompted her to go to Damien Foundation centre. There she was told that she had leprosy and was asked to take treatment for six months. She was also advised how to take care of her hand and prevent worsening of deformity that she already has. Now she is following self care routinely. She soaks her hand in water, scrapes her callosities, applies oil and exercises the hand. She understands that by doing this regularly her little finger which is bent would be straightened and she would not get any ulcers in the hand. She is happy that she has come to Damien Foundation. She is sure that her disease is curable. Her husband doesn't think otherwise.


Rajesh has reason to smile...

Today, Rajesh Ram is a happy man. Happy, because he has won the war against leprosy, the disease which had for long taken away his dignity, his life. Thanks to his determination and the help and support he got from Damien Foundation he has found happiness in his life.

When he was doing 5th class in School he had to abandon his studies to support his family along with his elder brother. He started working as labourer in construction industry in his native place in Bihar. The income was meager. So he and his brother came to Delhi in 1996 in search of greener pastures. He learnt to repair sewing machine and started earning about 100 rupees a day. Five years later tragedy struck him. He noticed a pale looking skin patch on lower part of both the legs. Strangely, he noticed that there was no sensation in the patches. He went to a private hospital. The doctor told him that it was a simple disease and gave him some drugs and an ointment for local application. He did not notice any improvement. He went to his native place, Bettiah, in West Champaran, in Bihar. Soon he got ulcers in the sole of both the feet. There was also pain in the hollow of the knees. He was scared. He soon returned to Delhi. He went to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a premier Institute. He was told that he had leprosy and was given treatment. His ulcers healed. He got married in 2004. In 2005 he noticed that he had difficulty in walking, he was not able to lift his feet. He developed ulcers again. He used to either walk or go by bicycle for his work. The ulcers became worse.

It was when Damien Foundation team was doing publicity in his colony Rajesh decided where to go for help. He contacted the staff at Damien Foundation centre in Vijay enclave where he received training on how to take care of his feet and prevent the formation of ulcers. In 2009, he was sent to Damien Foundation project in Trichy in Tamil Nadu where corrective surgery for his foot drop was done. Following surgery, Rajesh has been able to walk without any difficulty. He was given a motor bike by Damien Foundation Delhi project. This helped him in traveling with ease and earning a higher income.

Rajesh Ram is 28 years of age. He is married and has two daughters and a son. He travels to different places for work on his bike. He earns about 300 rupees a day. He sends his two daughters to school. He gives part of his time for health education activity in his area and helps in treating TB cases. He is happy and contended. He is thankful to Damien Foundation for giving new meaning to his life.