Maya and Mamata

The story of a happy new start

Gillian, the Director of the New Zealand Leprosy Society, met Maya six years ago at the Rose House, the rehabilitation unit of Anandaban Hospital. This is where patients are taught self-care and self-care skills after hospitalisation.

Maya was very quiet and reserved. You could see that the stresses of life had taken their toll on her. Leprosy attacked Maya's hands: she needed hand surgery at Ananda Hospital. Her nerves were ravaged by the disease and she had to go to the hospital for years for treatment. Sometimes she had to stay for weeks, sometimes for months because of the operations.

During their last meeting, despite his quiet demeanour, he was a changed man, enjoying the social life and the company of his lively daughter Mamata. The little girl, previously with her sad mother, was smiling and carefree as she threw herself into community life.

Maya joined a self-education group supported by the Lepramissiio and started sewing. Her daughter Mamata received a scholarship to continue her schooling.

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Regular help

In our village and in the area, there was a very strong antipathy towards leprosy patients. The Leprosy Mission staff changed this with regular help.