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Patients repay Japanese generosity
Sufferers donate in turn to help quake, tsunami victims
- ucanews.com reporter, Bangalore
- May 26, 2011
Patients at the Sumanahalli ('village of people of good will') center, a treatment and rehabilitation facility run in Bangalore archdiocese for people suffering from leprosy, contributed the amount to Japanâ€™s Nippon Foundation yesterday.
The foundation has been a major sponsor of multi drug therapy (MDT), an important treatment for the disease.
India is a major beneficiary because it accounts for more than half the worldâ€™s leprosy cases, said Father George Kannanthanam, director of Sumanahalli.
â€śI am able to live today only because of the medicines given by Japan. I want to give back whatever I can,â€ť said Gurappan, a patient of the centre.
From his pension of 400 rupees per month, he contributed 500 rupees.
In another touching gesture, Mohan, 45, who is blind, contributed 1,000 rupees, a whole month's pension.
Mohan, who usually uses the money for his annual trip home, said: â€śMy life was saved due to the MDT."
The Sumanahalli society, started in 1978, treats some 400 people suffering from leprosy, HIV or other diseases All the societyâ€™s 250-plus staff have also pledged to donate one dayâ€™s earnings.
Some local schoolchildren collected around 2,000 rupees. One of the staff came forward to donate her entire monthâ€™s salary and a convent in the campus saved 30,000 rupees by cancelling a feast.
â€śThere are those without any pension who contributed just 10 to 20 rupees. They also put in whatever they couldâ€ť, said the priest, who initiated a similar campaign after the last tsunami that hit Indian shores in 2004.
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