Lepra’s Unsung Heroes

International Women's Day 2024

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In February 2024, Lepra CEO Jimmy Innes was introduced to 5 women from India's Odisha state, whose incredible strength and resilience is helping to improve the lives of countless people affected by leprosy and lymphatic filariasis.

I see them as unsung heroes of our cause. Their incredible work and dedication goes largely unseen outside of their immediate geographical areas, but their efforts and achievements embody all we try and achieve as an organisation.

We are proud to share their stories and messages of hope for International Women's Day. Please click below to read more about their experiences.

Arti Harijan - Physiotherapy Care Assistant (PCA)

"On this International Women's Day, I extend a message of empowerment and unity to women worldwide. Let us recognise the power within us and the transformative impact we can have on the development of the world. Aspiring to be a leader in the leprosy field, I encourage all women to stand together, valuing our collective strength. Let us break barriers and not allow ourselves to feel neglected. It is crucial for every woman to step forward, voice her concerns, and contribute to positive change. By investing in women, we invest in the development of a brighter and more inclusive world for all. Happy International Women's Day!"

Kusum Sahoo - Field Coordinator

"As women, we possess the capability to contribute significantly to our country and serve our people without hesitation. Our strength lies in the belief that we are not limited by any constraints, and we can actively participate in various endeavours to enhance the economic growth, well-being, and overall conditions of our nation. We reject the notion of being considered poor, acknowledging our ability to make a positive impact on the development of a prosperous, healthy environment for everyone through our collective efforts. Recognising that the environment may not always be favourable, we stand committed to taking initiative and making it conducive to our aspirations and goals."

Tamanna Bhatra - Physiotherapy Care Assistant (PCA)

"My message to all the women in this world is simple yet profound: always remember that we are capable of achieving anything that men can, but it's equally important for men to acknowledge that they can accomplish anything women can. Let's reject the notion of weakness and embrace our inherent strength. As the mothers of the world, let's take pride in our abilities and the impact we have on shaping society. Wishing each and every one of you a joyous and empowering International Women's Day!"

Lilibala Sahoo - Field Coordinator

"My message for women around the world on International Women's Day is a call for an end to discrimination and a plea for a shift in attitudes towards women in the workplace. Let us foster an environment of love, care, and mutual support for women, recognising the invaluable contributions they make to society. In the realm of government leprosy field staff, I emphasise the need for inclusivity by encouraging the appointment of female leprosy workers at the government level, particularly in areas like Koraput, to enhance case detection and ensure a more comprehensive approach to healthcare. Together, let's strive for a world where women are empowered, respected, and given equal opportunities. Happy International Women's Day!"

Sasmita Baral - Block Health Coordinator

"I urge every woman to recognise the immense potential within themselves. Each of you is a force of resilience, strength, and capability. As we invest in our own growth, education, and well-being, we not only elevate ourselves but also contribute to the collective progress of our communities and the world. Embrace your unique strengths, support one another, and remember that every step forward is a stride towards a brighter, more equitable future for all. Let us celebrate the strength of womanhood, investing in ourselves and each other to accelerate the progress we can achieve together."