Impact Stories

Amisha is better, and aspires to complete education

Credit: No Leprosy Remains ( NLR )

Amisha, an adolescent girl aged 14 years, is a student of class VIII. She lives at Lamkot, in the Chamba block of Tehri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand with her grandparents. She belongs to a poor family; her parents are daily wagers and her grandparents are farmers. The family comprises five people.

Life before she had leprosy:

Amisha remembers her life before leprosy as she says, “Before I had leprosy, I was living with my grandparents and studying. I used to go to school and participate in school activities like studying and playing, etc. I was happy, but slowly, I started losing sensation in my hands and my fingers started bending. It was the beginning of nervousness.”

Diagnosis for leprosy and her feeling:

Amisha was diagnosed with leprosy at a hospital. She said, “My parents took me to the Raipur Community Health Centre (CHC) before the lockdown (COVID) in 2020 for a check-up, but at that time the doctors were unable to diagnose the disease. When I went to the Coronation Hospital, from where I was referred to Doon Hospital and there I was finally diagnosed with leprosy. After that, I was referred to Raipur for treatment and was registered in Raipur CHC; from there my treatment was started.
Describing her feelings, she says, “It was really stressful for me when I came to know that I had leprosy. I started feeling low and depressed. I kept myself alone from my friends and started avoiding and talking to them. I also avoided going to school”. I started hiding myself and my disease from others”.

Impact on her and family after diagnosis.

That Amisha was having leprosy, was affecting her family too. As she said, “We had no knowledge about the disease earlier; With the diagnosis of leprosy, everyone in our family got nervous and stressed by thinking about my schooling, marriage, and future”.

Treatment and support from the health department:

Treatment and support from the health department:
Amisha says, “My treatment was started at the Raipur CHC. The District Leprosy Officer (DLO), Health Educator (HE) and Non-Medical supervisor (NMS) of Dehradun and Tehri regularly visited our place and provided all the medical and other support as needed. They regularly followed up with me and provided all support. They also looked for helping me in getting disability pension”.
People and family response after treatment
Amisha is now in better condition. She is still under treatment. She says, “As of now I am still on treatment but have started feeling alright. My parents, other family, and relatives are also coming out of the stress and feeling much better. Now, I am trying to go to school regularly and even trying to participate and engage in school activities and friends. School teachers and neighbors are also supporting me and consoling me every now and then.

Role and impact of NLR on her life:

Amisha says, “NLR India Foundation supported me a lot. NLRIF officials regularly visited my place and also my school along with the government health staff. They sensitized and generated awareness among school teachers, students, and villagers about leprosy. They also taught us self-care techniques for eyes, hand,s and feet to prevent them from further damage. Now I am practicing the exercises regularly at home and have started gaining the sensation and strength in my hand. NLRIF has provided me with education support (school bag, books, copy pencil, etc.). They also explained to us about the government disability pension scheme and the process to avail of it. NLRIF is regularly following and supporting me in getting back to the normal life”.

Future ambitions:

About her future ambitions, Amisha says “As I am still on treatment for leprosy and feeling well, and returning to the normal life, I am very happy and want to get rid of all my bad memories. Thanks to NLRIF staff and government health staff (DLO, HE, NMS) who guided and supported me a lot during my tough times; they are still looking for my well-being by providing education and ration support. My only wish is to continue and complete my studies”.


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