More about General Donations
"My village is Malasakkadu. I used to ride a
buffalo cart. I was 12 years old when I
found bumps in mybody.Then I got rashes
and it would not go away. I was riding a
buffalo cart and my arms used to
hurt. Then my eyes and mouth drooped
and I was almost on my deathbed." In
1993 Selvaraj was forced to leave his
village and family as a result of his
developing Leprosy. He was treated, but
due to his deformities he became shunned
from all society. In his words "My family
abused me and asked me to get lost.
They hated me. "Selvaraj became a beggar,
sitting in the train stations and asking alms.
After a while he learned about one of the
colonies for leprosy patients and has been
living there ever since.
Leprosy is Curable!
The Indian Leprosy colonies have tragically
emerged as refugee camps for people
forced to leave their homes and often their
families after being diagnosed with Leprosy.
In the recent words of one patient: Even
our own parents and siblings despise us.
Seeking relief from the bitter social stigma,
they gather together in remote places where
they do their best to cobble out a meager
They usually arrive in the colonies without
any financial holdings. They scrape
together a simple hut or take over an
abandoned one. The houses are tiny and
poorly provide even the most basic
necessities. In some colonies, the roofs on
the houses are collapsing. They are usually
filthy and dark, perpetuating the incorrect
notion among the general Indian
population about the unclean origins of
In their new lives in the colonies, the people
often form families and have children.
Although these children are not always
affected by Leprosy, the stigma of coming
from a Leprosy colony makes them subject
to the same social discrimination as their
parents. Often, the conditions in the
colonies cause these children grow up into
beggars themselves, thus perpetuating the
curse generation after generation.
Leprosy has traditionally robbed its victims
of all that is precious in life: their families,
homes, self-respect, emotional well-being
and physical health. It has long been
acknowledged as one of the most
devastating diseases known to man; in
effect, it was a curse worse than death.
Leprosy is curable. Rising Star Outreach
seeks to defeat it. If caught early enough,
Leprosy can be stopped before it ravages
a body. Through our efforts in medical
treatment, child education, and economic
development, we expect to see the Indian
Leprosy colonies develop into clean,
thriving, and self-sufficient villages.