30 July 2012
After declaring the country free of leprosy in 2005, the Central government is now grappling with fresh cases of the disease that have surfaced in the country, accounting for a staggering 55.5% of the new global infections.
Of the 2,28,474 new leprosy cases detected in in 2010, the figure for India stood at 1,26,800, according to S D Gokhale, president, International Leprosy Union (ILU) (India).
"If the Union and state governments do not take serious note of this fact (the figures were confirmed by the Union health ministry in a reply given in the Rajya Sabha on March 13, 2012) and initiate effective steps to eradicate leprosy, the problem would become more acute," he said.
To address the problems being faced by Leprosy Affected Patients (LAP), the ILU will constitute "LAP’s human rights cell" to take their collective and individual grievances to the human rights commission, Gokhale said. The ILU has prepared a memorandum enlisting 14 demands to redress their grievances, Gokhale said.
The pending demands include formulation of a comprehensive socio–economic rehabilitation policy for empowerment of LAPs, uniform pension and its enhancement to Rs 2,000 a month per LAP.They have also called for the removal of value–added tax imposed on products produced by LAPs. AGENCIES LENDING A HELPING HAND
Of the 2,28,474 leprosy cases detected in the world in 2010, the figure for India stood at 1,26,800
The International Leprosy Union (ILU) will constitute a human rights cell to take patients' grievances to the human rights commission
ILU has prepared a memorandum enlisting 14 demands to redress their grievances
Formulation of socioeconomic rehabilitation policy for empowerment of leprosy patients
Uniform pension and its enhancement to 2,000 per month per patient
Provision of civic amenities to self–settled colonies of patients
Removal of value added tax imposed on products produced by patients
Suitable revision of land records of self–settled patients’ colonies
Provision of higher educational facilities and scholarships for children of patients