Around 18 years ago Rangaraj developed unusual nodules on his face and leg. He didn’t know what was wrong. A gnawing concern compelled him to make the difficult journey across the mountains. A public hospital in Kathmandu recognised his signs as being leprosy. Upon this diagnosis, his wife left him because she feared she would contract leprosy. Medical staff at that hospital referred him to Anandaban hospital for treatment. When he arrived, Ranagaraj was depressed and scared. There were patients there who had clawed hands and amputations as a result of leprosy. He wanted to run away. He was terrified that the same thing would happen to him. But through the Hatia Self Help Group Rangaraj learned that leprosy is caused by a bacteria and is curable, that disabilities are preventable, and how important it is to treat leprosy early.
Like most of the artisans of Torulota Handicrafts, Nilufer Begum comes from a very poor family and never had the chance to go to school.
Meet Shuvam, a 14 year old boy who has suffered the effects of leprosy for four years. At age 10, a number of spots appeared on his hands, legs and back. He went to a skin doctor, but was given the wrong medicine and consequently, his condition deteriorated. However, after being alerted about the Anandaban Hospital by one of his friends, he received treatment and was soon cured. After finding out that he had been cured of the disease, Shuvam was overjoyed. He could see the spots disappearing from his skin and this confirmed that he was getting better. His parents were supportive through the entirety of his treatment and the family are incredibly thankful for the work of the The Leprosy Mission Australia.
Monimala was the eldest among her siblings. Being brought up in a poor family, she was only able to study up to eighth grade.
Leprosy was the reason for Sangwan’s parents’ divorce and she never again lived with her mother. So when she was nine and began to show signs of leprosy on her arms, her father sent her to live at the McKean children’s hostel and receive treatment.
Mrs. Hazera Begum is one of the hundreds of female artisans Bonoful Handmade Paper Project has helped lift out of extreme poverty. Like many of her co-workers, Hazera comes from a very poor family and had to leave school when she was in fourth grade.