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THE SUN SHONE ABOVE THE SCEPTRE

In 2005, as industry in Rajasthan, India, began to decline, Joges, then 14, and his parents moved to Faridabad in the state of Harijana in search of a better livelihood. The family belonged to the carpenters and masons caste.
His legal father was unable to work due to ill health. Therefore, it was up to the son to provide for the family's livelihood. In 2010, at the age of 19, he married a girl from Rajasthan. They lived happily with Joges' parents in Faridabad. Joges loved his wife and often took her to Delhi, the capital, just 35 km from Faridabad. "My wife was very fond of the flavours of Rajasthan: dal-bhati-kurma, lal-cras. Whenever we went to Delhi, we would go to Rajasthani restaurants," said Joges.
Four years ago, he felt both hands weak and his fingers numb. He was only 20 years old. The family doctor in Faridabad diagnosed leprosy. Because of the late diagnosis, Joges suffered Grade 1 and 2 lesions in his hands and feet and was prescribed a year's worth of combination medication.
All this happened a year after their wedding. His lawful wife did not want to live with a husband with leprosy - such is the stigma against lepers! Joges begged the young woman not to leave him, but she was adamant. "I cannot ruin my life for a 'leper'!" - she argued, and divorced Joges.
At such a young age and with so many adversities! He could have easily fallen into depression. But he was made of sterner stuff than that, and he started to fight. He kept on carpentry, earning 12,000 rupees a month with his wretched hands (about 50,000 Ft) Meanwhile, the wound on his middle finger was growing...
Wanting to get well physically and mentally, he visited the All India Institute of Medicine in Delhi. There he met Pankaj Gupta, the head physiotherapist at the Shahdara Leprosy Mission Hospital! Pankaj recommended the Shahdara hospital as the place where Joges' hand would be operated on and further help provided.
The operation will take place this month. Joges is looking forward to it! In the meantime they are treating her wound. His hands should be completely healed by December and then Joges' main dream is to get married. He wants to marry a girl who understands him. He longs for his whole life to be straightened out and beautified.
The leprosy hospital in Shahdara near Delhi, also supported by the Hungarian Leprosy Mission, is helping him in this!

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