Lepra (known as Lepra Society in India) is one of 16 organisations who have come together in United4Change to end discrimination against people affected by leprosy. 

We are looking for at least 50,000 signatures on a petition to ask Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India to:

  • Get the ‘Eliminating Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy (EDPAL) Bill, 2015’ passed in the Indian Parliament, and
  • Enact legislation that promotes social inclusion of people affected by leprosy and their family members as recommended by the Law Commission of India

India accounts for 58% of the total leprosy cases in the world.  Every four minutes one more person in India is newly diagnosed with leprosy. That means also that one more family faces the potential threat of social exclusion due to the acute stigma attached to leprosy.

There are laws in India that discriminate against people affected by leprosy. A combination of lack of knowledge, unfounded religious myths and stigma, people hide the early symptoms of leprosy to avoid being outcast from their family and community. The disease then progresses unchecked causing disabilities, blindness and heart-breaking rejection.

There are already around two million people living with irreversible leprosy-caused disabilities in India as a result of late treatment.

Ashim Chowla, Chief Executive of Lepra Society comments:

“Key to fighting the prejudice associated with the disease are archaic laws which discriminate against people affected by leprosy.  This is against the tenets of our Constitution that guarantee an equal life for all of India’s citizens with complete justice.”

We need your support.

Sign the petition