Shefali’s Story

When I first came to the Mission Hospital, I couldn’t even dress myself…

I have never been to school. I can’t read or write. When I started to get patched on my body, I ignored them, even though my fingers were clawing towards my palm and I had sores on my legs that would not go away. Finally my condition was so bad I could not hold a cooking pot or do my daily chores. I went to the Dhanjuri Leprosy Clinic, my condition worse than it had ever been. I was given MDT and my wounds began to heal and the patches on my skin began to fade.

But my struggle was far from over. My husband was furious. He forced me to move into a separate room with my children. For days on end he refused to give me any food. No one in my village would speak to me. But I stayed.

At the clinic I learned how to take care of my sores. When I first came to the hospital, I couldn’t even dress myself, but slowly I learned to do daily chores again. They gave me special tools to help me do daily chores: a spoon for cooking and lifting hot pots; a special shoe. They visited my home and spoke to my husband. Today he knows that I am completely cured. While I have disabilities because I was not treated soon enough, I am able to work again.

More inspirational people…


Indrakhala’s Story:

Indrakhala, like any of us, longs for happiness. It would be so simple. She longs for freedom from the grip of leprosy that enslaves her. She longs for a family who would once again accept her. She simply longs for love.

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Akatot’s Story:

Her feet grew numb and sores festered on her soles. She was forced to crawl on her hands and knees. Akatot was a constant reminder of the threat of leprosy. Her family was terrified that they would be affected and they asked her to leave.

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Kamla’s Story:

Kamla has done nothing wrong. She is a hard-working wife and mother. But since she contracted leprosy, her friends and family can’t see past her disease.

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Cover image by Mohosin.a94 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons