Aanandthi: Leprosy patient yesterday – Tailor today

My name is Aanandthi. I am 22 years old. My parents are poor agriculture coolies. Some years ago my mother got injured in an accident and badly disabled. My father deserted my mother and married another woman.

When I was studying Std. VII a Government leprosy inspector visited our school. He examined me and found me to be suffering from leprosy and referred me to the Government Hospital. But I did not go to the hospital out of shame and fear.

After a few months, my feet became insensitive. One day I was walking to school bare-footed. A thorn pricked my foot. But I did not even know that my feet have been injured by thorn-prick. After a few days the injury became infected. I went to the Government leprosy inspector. He referred me to the nearby Government hospital. But I did not go because I felt ashamed to go to school with bandaged feet. After a few days my feet swelled up and my temperature shot up. Then I went to the Government hospital. The doctor referred me to St. Luke’s Leprosarium, Peikulam where a thorough medical check-up was made, and the diagnosis confirmed. I was admitted as an inpatient and was started on intensive treatment. At the time of admission, there were deep ulcers on both feet. After a series of minor surgeries the ulcers healed.

After completing the treatment, I wanted to study tailoring but my family was too poor to support me. St. Luke’s Leprosarium saw my pathetic condition and sent me to T.L.M. Vadthorasalur for tailoring-training. I had thorough training in tailoring. Completing the course successfully I returned home as a fully qualified tailor.

I sincerely thank St. Luke’s Leprosarium for giving me an opportunity to study, and also The Leprosy Mission, which helped Peikulam Leprosarium to help me.