By our Correspondent Surkhet, Oct. 3: The leprosy patients of Karnali who are subject to insults and pity because of a social belief that they have been inflicted with the disease because they had sinned in their past lives, have decided to set up an organisation to live a dignified, respectful life in the society.
The decision was made to help themselves to increase self-confidence and live a life with self -respect and to be adopted in the society.
The Karnali State Committee was formed under the initiative of the Association for Idea Nepal that has been involved in the treatment of leprosy patients.
Executive Chairman of Idea Nepal Kasinath Aryal said that since leprosy patients face insults and are blamed that they have sinned in their past lives, it was necessary to get organised to increase their self-respect and self-confidence. He added that the leprosy victims needed goodwill and not sympathy.
General Secretary of Idea Nepal Ramhari Regmi said that they aimed at lobbying for the rights of leprosy patients along with generating awareness, strengthening their economic status and advocating for the right of dignified rehabilitation in the society through State level.
As per Regmi, the provincial committee was needed to create awareness regarding the fact that leprosy is not a result of sin in the past lives but a disease that can be cured if treated in time
Typhoid Specialist Officer Ganesh Bhakta Gautam of District General Health Service Office Surkhet informed that although Nepal has been made a leprosy-free country, a few leprosy cases have been found. He stated the leprosy cases are still prevalent in the rural areas and it is needed to search for such patients.
Chairman of Ward No. 7 of Birendranagar Municipality, Dhrubakumar Chapagain stated cooperation and coordination with the local, State and federal governments were necessary to help the leprosy patients. Chapagain emphasised that the leprosy patients needed respect and self-confidence and not insult, thus everyone needed to contribute accordingly.
Narayan Khadka, Head of INF Surkhet, said that the decision of the leprosy patients to be organised for the right and respect was a positive step.
Udaynath Yogi from INF Surkhet informed that the Shining Hospital in Surkhet provided free treatment to the leprosy patients. The hospital has total of 25 beds out of which 15 beds are allotted for leprosy patients. Last year, 56 new leprosy patients received treatment in the hospital.
Meanwhile, a gathering of the leprosy patients under the chairmanship of Narre Kasseri from Surkhet has formed a State level committee.
The 11-member committee has Tekbahadur Thapa (Jajarkot) as Vice Chairman, Chakrabahadur Bali (Dailekh) as Secretary, Dhanbahadur Sunar (Surkhet) as Treasurer and Khadkabahadur Kumal (Surkhet), Bishna Budha(Jumla), Dudhjira Bam(Kalikot), Karna BK(Kalikot), Thirbahadur Rokka(Jajarkot), Bhuwan Pandey(West Rukum) and Chuchhe Sunar (Jumla) as members. Likewise Mangalbahadur Tharu and Udaynath Yogi of INF Surkhet have been chosen as advisor.