Pratap Das Manikpur, who lives in Indira leprosy Colony, Janjgir Champa in Chattisgarh, one of the largest leprosy settlements in the united states has efficaciously conquered the ailment after taking MDT (Multi-Drug Therapy) course. But tackling the stigma related with the crippling ailment was no longer effortless for him.
So, 4 years ago, when he alongside with his colony mates were approached through the Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation(S-ILF), offering fund for the commercial enterprise they would like to choose for livelihood, he was once apprehensive. “The fund had to be returned. We were now not positive if we would be able to do earn on our own, given that we had been into begging all these years.”
However, the S-ILF State chief Vijay Masih prompted them to take up the DJ project-music and tent services. Masih explains, "There are around 37 colonies in the State. We thinking to catering to the events like marriages, birthdays and other gatherings in these cohorts. The results have been positive."
Hence, what used to be originally restrained inside the community, the Indira Colony DJ Sound offerings comprised of 12 members has gradually unfold its wings.
"Contrary to our expectations, we are now getting orders from outside our colonies as properly Our aggressive quotes coupled with increasing awareness about the disease, has helped us," smiles Das who now leads the group. Clearly, societal mindset toward the leprosy is changing, though at a snail pace.
"Also, earlier marriages had been restrained within the leprosy colonies however now our kids are getting matrimonial proposals from outside the colonies too and vice versa," said Das who was in the countrywide capital to attend an tournament organised via the S-ILF to apprehend their efforts.
Today the DJ crew has expanded, offering catering services too, two taken care via ladies members. "We are now planning to project into tent offerings also. Ultimate goal is to end up an tournament management company-providing all music/tent/ catering and meals offerings underneath one platform," says Das whose group is comprised of his brethren Chhatram, Moharmati, Pradeep, Dukhi ram, Shakuntala Dashmukh, Rameshwari,Budhiyarin, Rajkumar, Janta Lal and Ganeshu. Empathy budgets empathy :a element of the incomes is saved to meet the medical needs of the elders in the colonies.
Similar is the story of leprosy-cured Anita and her gang strolling vegetable and paddy cultivation project, an all girls venture, in Janjgir-Champa in Chhattisgarh.
The group comprised of Anju Kevat, Sarasvati Gond, Savannah Bai, Ram Bai, Rita Patel, Santosho Satnami and Ramsheela Bai has taken on lease four acres of land in the place where they once labored as labourers. S-ILF extended assisting hand through providing fund to the tune of Rs 2,21,000.
As sensible farmers, the all-women crew has opted for cultivating a range of crops to limit the risk of flood and silting. They ensured that all the land was once fully cultivated in all season. Though they did most of the work themselves they have employed labourers during the peak season. Their dream is to cultivate their own land one day, shared Anita.
Thousands kilometer away from Anita's home, Bharatamma and her group-- VJ Vejibabu, A Shanker Rao, S Satyanarayana, A Subba Rao, D Subba Rao, K Rajya Lakhsmi, K Mani and K Kumaritoo are busy scripting similar success story in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh with economic assist of Rs 1,33,000 from the S-ILF. Her enterprise partners have now quit begging.
Bharatamma was affected by way of the disease when she used to be in her teens and at a time when stigmatisation of lepers used to be at its peak. But it used to be past. Thanks to the S-ILF that, today her group's annual incomes stands around Rs 65,000, she beams.
"The 'Rising to Dignity' awards pursuits to recognize the efforts of the people affected with the ailment and encourage others to follow the suite, says Vineeta Shanker from the S-ILF.
The thought is to encourage them to end begging and interact into dignified capacity of income generation. Awareness and early detection is key to ending the occurrence of the dreaded disease. Presently about 1.3 lakh human beings are bothered with leprosy, she says.