Thursday, June 9, 2011

Leprosy Relief and All-Girl's Indian Orphanage

This week, I went with the chairperson of Ek Koshish to learn about the leprosy colony in Faridabad, before we visited an all-girls' orphanage in Sector 15 of Faridabad, by the name of "Arya Kanya Sadan" (Hindi for "Communal home for girls [founded by the Aryas]"). At the leprosy colony, they explained to me how their charity initiated: In 1990, the government donated land in Faridabad to the people (and to family members of people) afflicted with leprosy. Foreigners and other rich benefactors, who supported the cause here in India, built the structures on the government-donated land. One of the structures, the hand loom shop, was donated by the German Relief Fund for Leprosy, along with dozens of machines used to make different types of fabric. The person running the shop explained that his parents were leprosy patients too, but they had passed away. Most of the workers are patients suffering from leprosy, but some of them have a relative who suffers from the disease. Nowadays, thanks to several health camps and intervention from the government, the number of families affected by the disease has dwindled only to 105 families. Afterwards, we visited a cow shed, operated by the people living in the leprosy colony, who sell the milk they produce from the cow shed to earn for the residents and for the organization as a whole. Heading out of the cow shed area, we found some of the leaders in the community, whom we asked if I could begin teaching some classes to the children after school. They were happy to accept my services, and we may be organizing the classes in the near future! Otherwise, they also suggested that we visit the orphanage in Sector 15 of Faridabad, "Arya Kanya Sadan." There, the warden was happy to see my interest in teaching her students, of which there are ninety one, and I would focus my coursework on English grammar and conversational English classes. Now we are in the process of seeking permission to organize my classes in the orphanage as well. It may be difficult for me to get permission to teach at the orphanage, because it is an all-girls' orphanage. Even if I am unable to get the opportunity to teach at Arya Kanya Sadan, I am looking forward to all of the work and different ways through which I can reach out to this community and help the truly neediest of people!

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