Hope for the lepers in India:

Gandhiji Prem Nivas

Gandhiji Prem Nivas, India, is a reception center for lepers, created by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who helps the sick and their families to receive treatment, to have a job with which to supply themselves and to reintegrate into society.

Leprosy is one of the oldest infectious diseases known to man. It mainly affects the skin, nerves, eyes, and respiratory system, but the disease is curable and treatment in its early stages can prevent disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Outside the city of Titagarh, in the Indian state of West Bengal, Mother Teresa established the Gandhiji Prem Nivas Leprosy Center in 1958. Run by its Missionaries of Charity, the center was built for an existing community of people with leprosy. Now, there are more than 1,000 people (affected and their families) living and working in the facilities.

 

Residents who have recovered from the illness work as weavers at the center and produce the blue and white saris (uniforms) worn by the nuns of Charity in Calcutta. The patients' children receive free education at the center, which also provides food, basic medical care and psychological treatment to its residents.

 

The facility is managed by the sales of fabrics made in the center, with the help of donations and with the support of the WHO, which in April 2016 launched the Global Strategy against Leprosy 2016-2020, whose objective is the global elimination of the illness. Gandhiji Prem Nivas participates in the WHO program together with other hospitals in India and provides treatments not only to patients residing at the center, but also to other people affected by leprosy who need medical attention.