Kajal Kumari is 16 years old and lives with five other siblings and her hard-working parents in a rural and poor area near Sadar in India.

When Kajal developed multiple lesions on her body her parents sought the help of a local healer who was unable to treat Kajal successfully. This marked the beginning of the family’s search for someone who could tell them what was wrong with Kajal and how they could make her better.

Stigmatism in society 

While they suspected it could be leprosy, the family worried that such a diagnosis would mean stigmatism and social isolation for their daughter. Kajal had already had to abandon her education after her peers had begun to treat her differently as often happens when people are suspected to have leprosy.

The District Hospital in Mungar was finally able to diagnose the leprosy and Kajal began multi-drug therapy. However, when Kajal took an adverse reaction to the drugs she was referred to our Referral Centre where we were able to help her complete therapy with extra emotional and physical support.

Looking to the future

Kajal said: “I have faced several problems in my young life already. All my dreams are shattered. Now I want to study and do a nursing course so that I can serve the sick people.”

Well on the way to fulfilling her dreams, Kajal is back at school and studying hard.