NHRC issues detailed advice to the Centre, States/UTs seeking the general welfare of people affected by leprosy


January 18, 2022 03:13 STI

New Delhi [India], Jan 18 (NNA): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) headed by Justice Arun Mishra, issued a detailed advisory on Monday to the Center, States and Union Territories calling for the identification, timely treatment and elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy.
The Council listed legal provisions that discriminate against people affected by leprosy in 97 laws across the country and called for their removal.
The Council has planned to ensure that no person suffering from leprosy or any member of their family is discriminated against and deprived of all or part of the right to health care, employment, education and to land rights.
To raise awareness that leprosy is completely curable and that a person with leprosy no longer remains contagious after receiving the first dose of PCT and can lead a normal married life, have children, participate in social events and go to work or at school/college as usual, the Commission calls for organizing awareness programs involving print and electronic media, grassroots officials and civil society organizations.
The notice also provided that the outreach program should also emphasize that people affected by leprosy are not required to be sent to a special clinic, hospital or sanatorium and should not be isolated from their family members. or the community. The same should be included in the school curriculum to build awareness among the youth of the country.

For the improvement of living conditions and financial independence, the Commission called for the launch of special programs to provide vocational training, employment benefits, unemployment benefits, parental leave, health insurance, allowances funerals, etc. people affected by leprosy and their families. member.
Some of the important recommendations, among others listed in the notice, include that the state government should establish a hotline to ensure prompt reporting and medical attention to new cases of leprosy as well as the development of acute signs and symptoms of leprosy reaction/new nerve function. deficiency in existing patients; ensuring the availability of an adequate stock of drugs and other paraphernalia, including MDT drugs for the treatment and management of leprosy and related complications; strive to provide and expand mobile teleconsultation services to people affected by leprosy.
Among other recommendations, the Council advised to ensure that people affected by leprosy are given a priority of BPL card, Aadhar card, work card and other proofs of identity to enable these people to benefit government run social protection programs such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY), MGNREGA etc.;
He also suggested that the Union Government consider enacting legislation providing for the substitution of derogatory terms used to describe people affected by leprosy, adding that the Chief Secretary of each state/UT affected by leprosy and secretaries responsible for relevant ministries in the central government should review, at regular intervals, the number of people affected by leprosy in the State/country and the efforts being made for the treatment and welfare of those affected
The Commission, in a letter addressed through its Secretary General, Bimbadhar Pradhan, to the Union Ministry – and to the Secretaries/Chief Administrators of the States and Union Territories, requested the implementation of its recommendations in the advisory report and actions taken within three months. (ANI)


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