Chandramma never went to school. But today she stands tall with her fellow Civil Society Organisation (CSO) members, inspiring them and actively enabling them to access their rights and entitlements as people affected by leprosy and disability.
Thirty-two year old Chandramma is from a village in India. Growing up, her father spent all his money on alcohol, so he never sent her or her siblings to school. Her childhood was spent grazing buffaloes.
When Chandramma was diagnosed with leprosy at age 15, a septic wound meant that her right leg could not be saved and it was amputated. She spent two years in hospital and eventually learnt to walk with an artificial limb. She also attended The Leprosy Mission Vocational Training Centre (VTC) and learned to make bags. This meant she could then join a tailor in the village and work with him.
Thanks to people like you, Chandramma has also received training through The Leprosy Mission to become a ‘Champion’. She is now Joint Secretary of the CSO, which includes 12 members affected by leprosy and 11 members with general disability. In one year, the CSO managed to provide 5 bus passes and 3 disability certificates. In the following year, Chandramma herself organised 5 toilets, including one for her home.
“I had lost hope. I thought that I had become a burden for my parents in their old age. The trainings have built my confidence and help me gain perspective in life. Today I do not think of my disability. I feel proud that I am earning, taking responsibility of the house and also helping others like me. It gives me satisfaction,” says Chandramma with a gleam in her eyes.
Chandramma is a champion because she has made it a mission to help others who are affected by leprosy and/or living with disability too.
Pray that we can continue to train more Leprosy Champions like Chandramma in India to help others affected by leprosy and disability.
Thank you for your prayers and support for The Leprosy Mission’s work in India.
You are a Champion too!