President Mukherjee calls for ’empowering’ leprosy victims

New Delhi, Jan. 29 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday called on the nation to make strong efforts to spread awareness about leprosy, its treatment, care and rehabilitation of its patients.

The President in his anti leprosy day message said, “I am happy to learn that the Hind KushtNivaranSangh (Indian Leprosy Association) observes every year Anti Leprosy Day on January 30 to coincide with the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi.”

Asserting that over the years, the scourge of leprosy has remained a blot on humanity, the President said that there is a need empower those who have been socially discriminated on account of leprosy through advocacy and information dissemination.

“Mahatma Gandhi’s love and compassion for patients suffering from leprosy is well known. He understood the social dimensions of this disease and worked relentlessly to reintegrate patients of leprosy into the social mainstream. His efforts to eliminate the social ostracism accorded to people afflicted by leprosy went a long way in spreading awareness about the disease,” President Mukherjee said.

He stressed that the need of the hour is to intensify efforts towards early detection of leprosy cases, provide equitable access to appropriate treatment and provide integrated leprosy services in geographically focused areas.

The President called on the nation to rededicate their selves to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and make every possible effort to spread awareness about leprosy, its treatment, care and rehabilitation of its patients.

“We must also actively work to achieve the goal of a leprosy free India,” he added. (ANI)

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