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Fresh start for Shivshankar

Header india Shivshankar

Shivshankar got deformed by leprosy and was banished to a leprosy colony in Delhi, India. Fortunately, he has reasons for joy again.

The Netherlands Leprosy Relief gave him a helping hand to start a mobile shop. He offered his merchandise from his fully loaded tricycle. Now, a year later, he has a successful street shop in a busy street in the city from which he serves spicy tea and sells all kinds of cakes and sweets. He is very happy that he can rebuild a future at the heart of society.

How it all began…

‘It started when I was seventeen. I was a young student and the future looked bright. I had no idea I had leprosy. I burned my hand making tea. I could not feel the huge blister. The mutilations came after that. I always kept my hand out of sight. Until somebody grabbed it. He looked at it and said: ‘Get away from me, you dirty leper.’ I was beaten and got banished to this leprosy colony. The beating was painful, but being hated is unbearable.’

Wicas portret klein

A fresh start

‘In the leprosy colony I met my wife Laksmi. Together we have a son, Wicas. At an early age he got infected with leprosy too. It broke my heart. But he got lucky; he did receive medication in time. Without those, his hands would have looked just like mine. He got away without any mutilations and can lead a normal life. Thanks to The Netherlands Leprosy Relief he can attend school. He’s in year six and he wants to become a doctor. He has many friends outside the colony.

My family and I have every reason to be joyful. We have each other, my son Wicas can attend school, and within a year my mobile shop grew into a successful street shop. My customers often return for my spicy tea, cakes and sweets, as well as a chat. I am so happy I can rebuild a future at the heart of society.’

With your support we were able to help Shivshankar, his son Wicas and tens of thousands of other leprosy patients in 2017. Thank you very much!

The Netherlands Leprosy Relief ambassador Dendennis meets Shivshankar for the first time in 2015

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