“The article was an eye-opener even for me. The government is committed to rolling back policies that discriminate against people with leprosy. Like the Bill to protect the rights of people living with HIV, we need one to destigmatise leprosy and ensure the human rights of people with the disease are protected,” said Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss at the ninth Editors’ Conference on Social Sector Issues.
HT reported (‘Lepers should beg, not drive cars’, February 2) that despite the Centre’s claim of achieving leprosy elimination status — defined as less than one case per 10,000 population — in 29 states, the lives of people are little different from those who lived in the dark ages.
Many laws continue to deny them a life of dignity. People with the disease are legally banned from travelling by train and applying for a driving licence, staying married, or contesting elections.