What Happened to the Rehabilitation of Leprosy Patients? Delhi HC
Leprosy may have faded from public consciousness, but it still cripples more than one lakh Indians annually.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the response of the central and AAP governments on a plea seeking rehabilitation of leprosy-affected patients who became homeless after being released from a correction home post decriminalisation of beggary.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the Delhi government counsel to seek instructions on the issue and listed the matter for further hearing on January 22.
The plea filed by one of the displaced leprosy patients said he along with 40 others have been forced to stay on roads in the shivering winter and beg to sustain themselves.
The plea, filed through advocate Manisha Bhandari, said the leprosy patients were released from Home for Leprosy and T B affected patients (HLTB) in east Delhi's Shahdara area after the Delhi High Court's last year verdict decriminalising begging in the national capital.
It said "there is no place to go due to the stigma attached to their disease that is leprosy." "Most of them require a change of bandage every single day and in the current scenario once they are removed from HLTB they have no other place to go except spent their day and night on road," the plea claimed.
It said that after decriminalisation of begging, the inmates can no longer stay at HLTB which was their only resort and only form of rehabilitation even though it was a "prison".
As an interim relief, the plea sought temporary arrangements to ensure continuation of operation and running of the home as a rehabilitation centre till the pendency of the petition or an alternative arrangement is made.
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