Ashim was just 10 years old when he discovered a white patch on his arm.
I felt no sensation, it was like magic! I used to challenge my friends to try and hurt me with pins and pointy compasses. I felt nothing. They marvelled at me and I called it my secret magic patch!
It was after a month or two, I shared my little secret with my mother. She was horrified and I remember that she took me to see a doctor who said that I had leprosy. I was prescribed medicine - yellow tablets in small brown bottles.
Due to the prejudice surrounding leprosy, Ashim was forbidden to speak about this to anyone.
Eventually I was cured, and went on to lead a full life. I am a long-distance bike rider and I have taken my motorcycle up to the highest motor-able road in the world, Khardung La, at 18300 feet above sea level!
But most importantly, I work proudly with colleagues in Lepra. I work because I know about this disease.
Early detection, correct diagnosis, and proper treatment will prevent nerve damage and deformities. Each day I return home from work with the firm belief that one day leprosy shall be a disease of no consequence.
Today, Ashim is the Chief Executive of Lepra in India and works hard to ensure that others like him can overcome the effects of leprosy.