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.
Handmade leather goods by local villagers are exported across the world through the Nepal Leprosy Trust. They provide income to people affected by leprosy, disability and those who have been marginalised by poverty and other causes.