Published Fri, Mar 20, 20. Written by Kathleen Connors.
Mavaluru Papaiah wrote to us to thank you for your support for the Adarsha Nagar Leprosy colony and update us on this ongoing project. He wrote, “Leprosy is considered by many as not merely a medical condition, but as a condition encompassing psychological, socio-economic and spiritual dimensions that debilitate the individual progressively unless properly care for. Because of the stigma associated with the disease, leprosy patients used to be forced to leave home; some were admitted to asylums or sanatoriums. Today, however, they remain within their families, although they are often looked down on and may receive little or no support from their communities.
The elderly and the other leprosy patients often become sick as they are weak. They suffer from body and joint pains, diarrhea, arthritis, gastritis, seasonal fevers, fatigue, non-healing wounds, kidney issues, and illness due to their wounds in the summer. They are given medical assistance and medicine and bandages are purchased and distributed to them regularly.The Adharsa Nagar Leprosy colony in Kurnool is exclusively for them. There are 50 families living in the colony. Among the families there are 34 elderly patients who get monthly pensions [of about $8 USD per month] from PIME. Some of the patients who cannot work due to their physical deformity sometimes beg in the cities and nearby towns. Whereas others who are better physically do jobs that they are able to do, like sweeping in front of shops in the morning and evenings, some of them are night watchmen, etc. That is if they feel healthy enough, otherwise they remain at home in the colony and depend on the family members and the monthly pensions from PIME for their daily food.
As the cost of living is increasing day by day, the life of the people in the leprosy colony is very challenging and people are struggling to get 3 meals a day. In this vulnerable and helpless condition, the support of the PIME USA donors for monthly pensions and medical help is most precious. It plays a major role in living their daily life with dignity and respect. They are so happy to have this help and to live their life peacefully. Most of the patients are uneducated and simple people.
PIME not only helps us with medical care and pensions, but through the PIME sponsorship program education is given to their children, and this gives them great hope. The community has community prayer three days a week in the chapel community hall in their colony. Christmas and Easter are the major holidays they celebrate. Community games are organized, and prizes are distributed for winners in the colony during Christmas and Easter celebrations. They celebrate together any marriages or other celebrations that take place in their colony. All the community members attend church every Sunday. They pray for PIME and the benefactors every day.
Through your loving service to the elderly lepers of the colony that Fr. Frank Raco, PIME, started here, our hope and prayer is that all of us here may come to experience and know the Lord’s LOVE and realize how precious we all are to GOD. Thank you for caring for us in such a personal and marvelous way."
Leprosy Colony Patients with Mavuluru Papaiah (back row, far left):