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From Leprosy Patient to Community Champion: The Inspiring Story of Ramesh Prasad

In the vibrant landscapes of rural India, lives Mr. Ramesh Prasad, Ram Nagar leprosy colony, Patna. He came to know that he was suffering from a disease called leprosy at a tender age of 16 years, which came as a shock to him as instead of focussing on working towards achieving his dreams to become a doctor, he had to find a treatment for his illness, but his heart stayed strong. Due to lack of sensitisation of general public, Ramesh had to face a lot of discrimination, however, he still said to himself, “I am more than my sickness,” and he hoped people would understand. 

Sadly, people around Ramesh didn’t want to be his friends because they were scared of his sickness. He later shifted to a missionary hospital in Patna for leprosy, where his sickness was treated and also got an opportunity to make new friends suffering with the same sickness. They often shared their stories with each other which helped in building a lifelong relationship. Ramesh also found his love in the colony, her name is Sita Devi who is also suffering from leprosy. Together they started working towards serving the people affected with leprosy and help them live a respectful life.  

NLR India later contacted Ramesh after knowing about his efforts, and helped him provide with whatever he required to provide a positive environment to others. With NLR India’s support and his hard work, he encouraged many children from and around his colony to take admission in schools and also connect the patients with doctors for their regular treatments. Slowly, people started changing their mindset and outlook about leprosy. “Leprosy is just a word; it’s how we treat each other that matters,” Ramesh said.  

Currently, his children are graduates and are working to financially support the family. Not only Ramesh changed the life of his children but also motivated others to not lose hope and overcome any challenging situation that come as a huge setback to them. Ramesh just wants his children to keep helping others as he has done throughout his life and also stated that “General public should be more sensitised about the disease are even today leprosy affected people are facing social exclusion”. 

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