Friday, March 22, 2013

The Colonies

Rising Star Outreach of India has as its main goal to serve the leprosy-afflicted in India. This goal is accomplished through several different programs.

First, a little background on leprosy in today's modern world. If you haven't watched this video, it gives the best introduction.

There are over 1 million cases of leprosy in India today. There are over 700 colonies where the leprosy-affected live. There is a cure for the disease. But due to the stigma attached to it, many do not disclose they have the disease until it is much harder to treat.

A typical sign to the entrance of a colony
Outside one colony. It literally is on the side of a busy highway.
Another colony is located in an isolated area.

A colony scene. Trash is everywhere in India, not just the colonies

a much cleaner scene

                    A typical wash day in India.
 I loved watching the little girls do their part.

 Many of the children of the leprosy-affected live at Rising Star where they receive an above-average education. But there are still plenty of children who live at home. Indians have a very strong sense of family. With many of them having lost most everything, including jobs, homes and friends when leprosy is discovered, their families become their most prized possession. It is hard for many of them to send their young children off to a boarding school.


Each day Rising Star sends out a mobile  medical unit to visit a colony. Many of the patients there need medical care, but are unable to get themselves to a doctor. Run completely by a team of excellent Indian doctors, the unit travels to the colonies and provides leprosy screening, medicines for treatment, wound and ulcer care, and medical treatment for non-leprosy related ailments such as TB, typhoid fever, and diabetes.

Typical community center where we set up shop

Some of our patients
More patients

1st stop - pick up your chart
2nd stop - blood pressure and blood sugar testing

Bandage removal
Washing Feet
The "nurse" takes care of the ulcers
Our own little pharmacy

At one colony there are two businesses which have been started which provides employment for the patients and their families. This is the Pearls With Purpose, a jewelry making group. There is also an art school and studio. It is amazing to see someone without fingers create a beautiful piece of artwork.


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