India is a diverse and intriguing country with a population of over 1.2 billion. Ironically it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, yet it still contains the largest concentration of poor people; and has a higher rate of malnutrition among children under the age of three.
India has about 70% of all leprosy patients worldwide. TLM’s work started in India in 1874 and it remains a key area for the Mission with over 50% of resources being channelled there.
In recent years TLM has become more holistic in its approach to care for people affected by leprosy. This includes not only healthcare, but education, rehabilitation and training.
TLM runs 18 hospitals in India which provide general medical services as well as specialist leprosy care and referral services.
Disability Care and Community Based Rehabilitation
There are 826 self-help groups operating throughout India that provide support to those affected with leprosy. They also run training and education and raise awareness in their communities.
Many of these groups have been able to access government loans to begin their own businesses and help to support their families and add to their community. Over 300 children with disability are being followed up through the satellite clinics held in 32 locations.
West Bengal, NORTH INDIA
“Transforming Communities”, Kolkata
This project works in five urban slum areas of Kolkata which are characterized by high poverty and unemployment due to a largely illiterate, unskilled and semi-skilled population. The main emphasis of the project is on community awareness raising in the following areas:
- Health, hygiene and diseases such as leprosy, TB, HIV/AIDS
- Rights under Indian law, such as pensions, benefits etc
- Child and adolescent health; child trafficking
- Forming self help groups for income generation
- Vocational training for young men and women
- Coaching classes for school dropout children
- Adult literacy classes
- Improving water and sanitation
- Networking with government and NGO resources