Maasaanam’s Story

One day a father from a nearby village brought his 10-year old son to St.Luke’s Leprosarium. The child looked every inch a leper! So far advanced was the disease. He was a textbook picture of a lepromatous leprosy – the infectious type of the disease. The disease must have gone on for years.

The doctor was so overcome with indignation over the father’s callousness.

“What kind of father are you?” he screamed.

“You are an irresponsible father. Your village is so close to our Hospital. You could have brought him much earlier”

“What can I do?” cried the father.

“I have a daughter of marriageable age. Suppose I come to your leprosy hospital for my son’s treatment and my neighbours spot us inside a leprosy hospital, they will put two and two together, and conclude that my son is a leper.

“Soon I will have to searching for a groom for my daughter. Then the neighbours will warn the parents of the potential groom against matrimonial alliance with my family.

“Therefore I decided to defer the visit to your leprosy hospital till my daughter is married off. Then came the difficult search for the money towards dowry. By the time I could raise the money for the dowry, three years rolled by. Within this period, my son’s disease advanced.”

You see, leprosy is not just a physical disease but one with social stigma and emotional overtones. Some are afraid of losing the job.

The married ones are afraid of losing their spouse.

Most often the wife sticks to the leprosy-afflicted husband thro’ thick and thin. Alas! When a wife is afflicted by leprosy, the husband deserts her immediately.

Coming back to the story.

Thank God! Though the boy’s leprosy was advanced, it was not too late. The boy was treated with MDT (Multi-Drug Therapy) the modern scientific powerful combination of drugs. Within two years, he was fully cured – so thoroughly cured that hardly any one could suspect that he was once a ‘leper’.
Maasaanam is today a happily married man with three children.