Indra is from Nepal. He was 13 years old when he discovered patches spreading across his skin on his back, arms and legs. He started to lose sensation in his hands and feet. His dry skin couldn’t sweat and was in danger of developing severe cracks. For three years, Indra didn’t know what would happen to him. He desperately sought out traditional healers, but they offered no help.
One of the villagers recognised his patches. They helped him to a health centre, where health workers finally diagnosed Indra. It was leprosy! Imagine the relief when the doctor explained that leprosy is curable! Although Indra was cured of leprosy after taking Multi-Drug Therapy for three years, he still has no feeling in his hands and feet, and has lost a finger. And he’s deeply ashamed of leprosy and hid it from his village. When his skin darkened—a common side-effect of talking Multi-Drug Therapy—he told others it was a result of outdoor labour.
After Indra’s diagnosis, his father separated him from the rest of the family. His bed was moved into the buffalo shed. For the next ten years, Indra lived amongst the buffaloes. He would enter the village to find manual labour on local farms. This was the only work that Indra could find because he had never been to school. Sometimes he didn’t wear shoes out in the field. The stones would cut his feet and they would bleed, but he would feel nothing. As in many cultures, it’s not okay for men in Nepal to cry. So Indra put on a brave face during the day. But at night, he would return to his home among the buffaloes, and Indra would weep.
Indra no longer lives in that shed. When he turned thirty, he left his village and got some help from an organisation called New SADLE. New SADLE helps people affected by leprosy obtain training and secure a livelihood. Some of the products we sell in our shop are from New SADLE.
Indra now lives in a small room. There isn’t a toilet. He has to sneak into his neighbour’s or find somewhere in the forest. Unfortunately his work is only seasonal.
“I am getting older and it is difficult to work in the field. I would like a small shop.”
Indra is currently getting help at the Self-Care Unit at Anandaban Hospital which you support. There he can find food, a bed and treatment for free. There he can experience the love of Jesus Christ through those caring for and treating him. Leprosy has been a difficult and lifelong struggle for Indra. But your support is a light breaking into darkness. You’re giving people like Indra a place of rest and a place to develop new skills at Anandaban hospital. There, people affected by leprosy, like Indra, can find hope and inclusion. There, your support can give protective shoes to people affected by leprosy. Thank you.
“Thank you for what you are doing.”