On August 3, 2016 we traveled to a small village called Narayana Vanam in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh State to attend the celebration and distribution of custom shoes for people with leprosy.
We had the most delightful experience of distributing the shoes, eating manipulatives, sun glasses, and first aid kits to the people of the Chittoor who suffer with the effects of leprosy.
This area of the country has over 2,000 different types of deformities, leprosy just being one.
These were some of the most humble and grateful people we have met.
Some were so excited they were bubbling over.
Leprosy has affected humanity for thousands of years and occurs more commonly among those living in poverty. It affects the nerves, respiratory tract, skin and eyes. More than half of the world’s new cases each year occur in India.
Although leprosy is not highly contagious, separating these people into leper colonies still occurs in some parts of India.
This man carries his spoon--the only thing he can use to feed himself--in his dhotie waistband.
Here, he receives his first aid kit.
And here, a man receives his velcro wrist-strap for his spoon so he doesn't have to have others feed him.
Dr. G Veykata Prasad, Chittoor District Leprosy Officer, stated:
“We have never had an NGO help us so much. Thank you.”
From L to R:
Mrs. John Peter, Sister Newton, Elder Newton, S.V. Sunil (India Service Center Manager), John Peter (Director of Shanthi Rehabilitation Center in Tirupati) and John Peter's daughter.