Mamta is 23 years old. She and her husband married only a year ago, however, unlike most newlyweds, her first year of marriage has been full of uncertainty, heartbreak and discrimination. This is because, shortly after her wedding, she was diagnosed with leprosy.
Mamta first visited her doctor in her home town
I didn’t know that I had this disease. When I went to a doctor in my village, even he did not tell me what it was.
Her sister, concerned at Mamta’s condition asked her to come to stay with her in Delhi, so she could visit a city hospital for a second opinion.
Doctors at Mahavir hospital told me that I had leprosy. When I told my husband, he said ‘I don’t want to be with you anymore. You can take care of yourself. I felt very bad and dejected, but my father told me that he would take care of me. There are many things I cannot do because of the deformity in my hands.
If Mamta had been diagnosed earlier by her village doctor, her disabilities may have been prevented. Unfortunately, lack of knowledge and discrimination within rural healthcare systems in India often prevents early treatment. For women, this is amplified further as society places them in the home and often they are unable to gain permission or find the time to see a doctor.
Mamta is now taking the multi-drug therapy (MDT) treatment to cure her. However, her husband has filed for divorce so she will continue to live with her parents.
By the way my husband talks, I know that he’ll never accept me again.
We are working to transform Mamta’s life with physiotherapy and self-care so she can move her hands comfortably.
We are also providing counselling and livelihood training so she can become financially independent.
A fundraising life-changing tea is a wonderful way to involve your family and friends, sharing tea and cake whilst raising money for women affected by leprosy.
If you raise just £13 it can train a female Community Champion to treat and support women in their communities so that do not have to travel huge distances like Mamta to receive the treatment.
£30 can enable a female Community Champion to visit 10 women living with leprosy in their homes and help them receive treatment and care for their disabilities.