Here we support a Vocational Training Centre, where hundreds of leprosy-affected people and their families have benefited from much needed skills training and employment assistance.
Education is a vital way of bringing economic and social change to individuals, families and communities affected by leprosy, stigma and poverty. It opens up possibilities and opportunities and gives back the social standing that leprosy may have stolen.
Originally from Rajasthan in north-west India, 18-year-old Amar is now learning how to repair diesel engines at the Leprosy Mission Vocational Training Centre in Faizabad.
Amar contracted leprosy two years ago, just as he was starting his working life. He had a job in a factory but had to leave because the numbness in his hands meant that he didn't notice when he was getting burnt. When his hands started to become clawed, he went straight to see a doctor. He was diagnosed with leprosy and referred to the district hospital for treatment.
While he was there, the staff told him about the Vocational Training Centre and suggested that he enrol in a course. Amar jumped at the opportunity and decided he would like to learn how to repair engines.
"My life is totally changed after coming to the Faizabad VTC. I live in the hostel and have learnt to lead a disciplined life, waking up on time, taking my meals on time, self-care for my anaesthetic hand and exercising. After finishing the training I want to work for myself and stand on my own two feet."