Light up a life this Diwali Donate Fundraise In India, the number of people affected by leprosy has risen to a 10 year high. These people urgently need your help as many have been forced to live their lives in the shadows – tainted by darkness. The first symptom is a numb patch of skin which can lead to life-changing disability and blindness. There is a cure, but sadly, over 3 million people are living with undiagnosed leprosy. Many people do not understand their symptoms and are often issued with the wrong treatment, as many medical professionals do not recognise the disease either – leaving their condition to worsen. Sadly, the disease doesn’t stop at physical disability. 1 in 2 people affected by leprosy experience depression or anxiety, due to painful emotional trauma caused by the prejudice of others. Many are cast out of their communities and left alone – isolated from their loved ones. This has devastating consequences. Children’s futures are left in tatters and adults face financial ruin as they are unable to work – pushing them deeper into poverty. Diwali is a time for dana and throughout this festive period you can help to light up the life of somebody affected by leprosy. A donation of just £4 could train a village doctor to recognise the symptoms of leprosy to prevent misdiagnosis. Donate now Sunita is like any other 15 year old. She enjoys going to school and seeing her friends, however, before our help, her story was very different. She noticed her first symptoms of leprosy when she accidentally cut her little finger – but did not feel any pain. She was given some herbal remedies, however, because it was the wrong treatment, her symptoms worsened and her hands began to stiffen and claw. “I felt so alone at school” she says, “Nobody wanted to play with me and I used to sit and cry by myself. My brother wouldn’t even allow me to go into the kitchen or touch plates or glasses because he was worried he would catch the disease.” Sunita eventually had to drop out of school as leprosy left her unable to keep up with her studies. Determined to seek help, her father sought a second diagnosis and Sunita was diagnosed and treated for leprosy. She is currently receiving physiotherapy and reconstructive therapy at one of our rehabilitation centres to restore the appearance and movement of her hand. Sunita is now back at school and enthusiastically studying to one day become a teacher. Your gift this Diwali will help to give warmth and hope to somebody affected by leprosy – bringing them out of the shadows and into the light. Together, with your help, we will beat leprosy.