Japan based charity organization Nippon Foundation has announced that it will spend an amount of US$ 10 million towards empowering and rehabilitating leprosy patients in India. Yohoi Sasakawa, the Chairman of the foundation has revealed that the amount will be raised in a year's time, and it will be utilized towards special micro-financing schemes and vocational training centers for the people suffering from leprosy.
India currently has around 700 leprosy colonies and 118,844 registered leprosy cases. Over 11 million leprosy cases have been treated in India since the introduction of multiple drug therapy in the early 1980s. The programs of the chrity will seek to utilize the skills of those who are afflicted with the ailment.
Sasakawam appealed to the Indian industry, NGOs and public to contribute money for the speedy rehabilitation of the affected people.Nippon Foundation, in a collaborative effort, will form a confederation of colonies for the leprosy-affected people, identify their skills, and impart vocational training to them.Experts from countries like Brazil, the Philippines, Nepal, Japan and India, who participated in the conference, asked the UN Commission on Human Rights to take up social ostracisation of leprosy-affected people as a priority issue.