An important element of our ministry at Velemegna is caring for people with leprosy – a medical condition which, though serious, has for far too long, and in some cases unnecessarily, isolated sufferers from normal human contact. Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) decreases the patients’ sense of touch which often means they are not “alerted” to dangers such as fire or sharp objects. This lack of awareness can result in the mutilation of fingers and toes, causing disfigurements. In the past, certain types of leprosy were highly contagious. Today, thanks to medical advancements, sufferers – though manifesting signs of their illness – are able to form friendships and loving relationships with non-afflicted people without fear of harming them. People with Hansen’s Disease can marry, give birth to, and raise, normal, healthy children.
For the past few years, Velemegna has worked to improve the living conditions of families residing in the leprosy colony of Chatnalli. From the start, and for more than three decades, our approach has been holistic. We want those we serve to be free from the stigma of leprosy, to stop begging for a living, and to be empowered spiritually and physically as well as financially. We continue to fight for their dignity, human rights and the highest quality of life that is possible.
To find out more about leprosy, go to http://www.leprosymission.org/what-is-leprosy.
Nav Jeevan Leprosy Center (NJLC) at Chatnalli
Nav Jeevan Leprosy Center – our work with lepers – is centered within the village of Chatnalli, 20 km (12.5 miles) from Bidar. NJLC was established by the late Dr. A. C. Salins, founder of Velemegna, in 1984. All residents are well looked after. They receive ongoing ulcer care and weekly visits to the colony from hospital staff. In 2009, we successfully completed a housing project funded by The Leprosy Mission (TLM) India and friends of Velemegna. Now, all fifty houses have electricity provided by GESCOM, and all residents live happy and healthy lives.
In 2009 we successfully completed a housing project funded by TLM (The Leprosy Mission) India and friends of Velemegna. Now all fifty houses have electricity provided by GESCOM and all the residents are living happily and healthily.
Ten acres of arable land is being farmed at Baridabad village, located between Chatnalli and Bidar. Jowar wheat and fruit-bearing trees – like mango, jackfruit, lemon, guava, coconut, drumstick and curry leaves – are also grown there. We harvest Jawari grain and Tur daal, and have plans to install a drip irrigation system. Timothy and his Wife – look after the farm.