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Delhi govt plans to revamp anti-leprosy initiatives

Delhi govt plans to revamp anti-leprosy initiatives

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government is looking to give a boost to the anti-leprosy works throughout the national capital. The government has also formed a Leprosy Advisory Board with senior officials headed by the social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam. "The board will conduct a survey of the leprosy-affected persons in Delhi and submit the report in priority," said Gautam.

The Delhi government has a Rehabilitation Centre for Leprosy Affected Persons Scheme or RCL which aims to rehabilitate the patients. "With the development of science and medical research, it has now been proved that leprosy is just like any other disease and its early detection and treatment can lead to its cure, though there can not be any relief from the deformity caused. Plastic surgery and physiotherapy have, of course, been helpful to some extent in the partial movement of their strained limbs and joints," said an official. He added that it is needless to emphasize that the economic and social rehabilitation of a leprosy-affected person is the prime need of the day to give them all opportunities to lead respectable life of a citizen.

"The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959, as extended to Union Territory of Delhi, is in operation leading to arrest of leprosy-affected beggars. Besides, Persons With Disability Act 1995 defined leprosy cured persons as "Disabled Persons" and they can avail disability pension, if eligible," the official said. The Delhi social welfare department has received many complaints on the illegal encroachment of the Tahirpur complex where a rehabilitation centre is present. "Survey the unauthorised encroachment and commercial activities in Tahirpur Complex, Delhi. From the next meeting, the board should invite representatives from Gandhi Kushth Ashram Tahirpur," directed Gautam.

The department has found that there is a lack of mass awareness on the disease at the ground level. With time the board will plan various mass awareness programme in various areas to tell people about the government schemes and about the disease. "A mass awareness programme should start immediately," said the minister.

The government will also promote training cum production centres at various rehabilitation centres. In its finding and as per reports the affected people in the ground face problem of employment due to the stigma around the disease." The training centres will help the students to learn various small jobs which will help them to work and earn money. We have already started one such centre and vocational courses would be provided to the people here," said Gautam.

Sayantan Ghosh

Sayantan Ghosh

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