Leprosy currently affects approximately a quarter of a million people throughout the world, with majority of these cases being reported from India. In 2012 India reported 83187 registered cases of Leprosy and is thus one of the 18 highest prevalent countries of Leprosy in the world.
India ratified CRPD on 1st October 2007 and is yet to submit its Country Report which was due on 3rd June 2010.
Facts about Leprosy in India:
- 55% of leprosy cases in the world are in India
- Between 2010-11, 8,462 new cases of disability were reported and 2,570 reconstructive surgeries were performed on patients with deformities.
- Between 2010-11, 12,463 new cases of leprosy were children
- Due to lack of access to healthcare, poor sanitation and congested living spaces, 14.31% of new cases were among Scheduled Tribes and 18.69% among Scheduled Castes in the year 2010-11.
- Although India officially ‘eliminated’ leprosy in 2005, 209 districts endemic districts had been identified in 2012-13, which is higher than the WHO benchmark.
India is home to several discriminatory laws towards people with Leprosy like Section 56 of the Indian Railways Act 1989 which empowers the Railways to refuse to carry a person suffering from leprosy; Section 13 (IV) of the Hindu Marriage Act, Section 27 (1) (g) of the Special Marriage Act, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, the Indian Christian Marriage Act and the Indian Divorce Act, under which the spouse can seek separation if his/her partner is suffering from a “virulent and incurable form of leprosy.”
There are other laws where people with leprosy are left in a disadvantageous position such as Life Insurance Corporation Act, in which people with infectious diseases are made to pay a higher premium; the Persons with Disabilities Act, the Industrial Disputes Act, the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act (Section 419), the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (Section 18), the Rehabilitation Council of India Act and the Prevention of Begging Act (in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka).
To end the spread of Leprosy and to remove discrimination, various organizations and self-help groups are working in India such as The Leprosy Mission (TLM), Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation, IDEA India, LEPRA India, Damien Foundation and Association of People Affected by Leprosy (APAL).
Government of India is also making strenuous efforts to eradicate Leprosy through its dedicated Programme called ‘National Elimination of Leprosy Programme’.
APAL-India ( Association of People Affected by Leprosy)
Contact Person: V.Narsappa
Address: House No. 5-4- 1438,
Opp. Hanuman Temple,
Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation
Contact Person: Dr. Vaneeta Shanker
Address: S-260, First Floor, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi – 110017
firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.silf.in
IDEA India (Integration Dignity and Economic Advancement) India
Contact Person: Dr. P. K Gopal
Address: 113 Selvam Nagar, Collectorate P.O.
Erode 638 011 India
Name of Organization: The Leprosy Mission Trust India
Contact Person: Dr. Sunil Anand
Address: CNI Bhavan,
16, Pandit Pant Marg,
Phone: +91-11-43533300, 23716920