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    Retail, livestock & Farming top 3 preferred professions for Leprosy cured patients in India

    Published on November 21, 2019

    New Delh: Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation(S-ILF), an organisation which works towards social and economic empowerment of leprosy affected persons and their families by providing them to access employment opportunities, presented “Rising To Dignity Awards”, at a ceremony held in New Delhi, today.

    S-ILF instituted these Awards with an aim to recognize the efforts of persons affected with leprosy to rise above all odds and live a life of dignity through self-employment & encourage others to follow the suite. The Award winners included DJ- Tent House project from Champa (Chhattisgarh); Scrap Collection Project, Kakinada, (Andhra Pradesh) and Vegetable and Rice Cultivation Project, Champa (Chhattisgarh). A large number of population lives in excluded leprosy colonies and are  often dependant on alms & donations for their living. S-ILF has been successful in creating job opportunities for these leprosy affected population in Retail services, Livestock followed by Production, Agriculture and Processing, especially in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh regions. Retail, Livestock, Farming are the top 3 preferred professions for Leprosy cured patients in India. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 37.5% of the leprosy cured patients took farming as the most preferred profession and in Chhattisgarh 26% of them took livestock as the most preferred profession.

    S-ILF’s Rising to Dignity Awards recognize the three best group initiatives for livelihood running over the last four years by beneficiaries of SILF’s funding for livelihood generation. It consists of a Trophy, a Citation and a Cash Award of Rs 1, 00,000. The Colony and State Leaders as well as the Mentors of the selected projects also receive a Special Citation for their contribution to the success of the projects.

    Talking about the Awards, Dr. Vineeta Shanker, Executive Director, Sasakawa- India Leprosy Foundation (S-ILF), said, “We, at S-ILF, are actively engaged in skilling and funding leprosy affected persons for self-employment. S-ILF works for the social and economic empowerment of leprosy affected persons and their families by assisting them to access opportunities which enable them to move out of begging into dignified means of income generation. In the given disadvantaged circumstances and societal attitudes of mainstream population, it is not easy for persons affected with leprosy to make a transition from begging to live a life of dignity.  Through these awards, we want to recognize their efforts, hard work & commitment which has made their enterprises commendably successful.

    “We didn’t expect that we will get this prestigious award, we are thrilled as we never imaged that we would be considered for this award”– Pratap Das Manikpur, Project Leader, DJ/Tent House Project.

    “We are very happy to receive this award. We are also very proud to be a part of this ceremony. This will help us in strive for more.”- V. JejiBabu, Leader, Scrap Collection Project.

    “This is a very surreal feeling for me and my brothers. It wouldn’t have been possible without my brothers who supported and helped me in every step.”- Anita, Project Leader, Vegetable and Rice Cultivation Project.

    The event witnessed a gathering of more than 300 participants, including national and international dignitaries, Government representatives, people affected by leprosy, lawyers, corporate houses and NGOs working for the betterment of leprosy-affected people. Also present on the occasion was the Guest of Honour, Mr Rajmohan Gandhi(Mahatma Gandhi’s Grandson).

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