Beerbhan...

Patient Beerbhan 18 year old Beerbhan, the eldest of five siblings, comes from district Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, approx 100 km from TLM Naini. Three years ago he noticed a white mildly anesthetic patch on his body and realised that he had developed the socially ‘bad’ disease –Leprosy. He went to the district government hospital, was diagnosed to have leprosy and completed the six month (PB) leprosy treatment from there. Young Beerbhan says “During the course of treatment I developed weakness and clawing of the right hand. I thought that Leprosy is not curable and that I would gradually get more and more deformed and lose all my fingers and toes. I had negative thoughts about Leprosy, got worried about the social stigma that would ensue and was gripped with fear. I lost courage and all hopes and dreams of a good future seemed to vanish. I did not go to school regularly. I deliberately kept myself away from school friends and stopped playing cricket and other village games with other children. My classmates stopped interacting with me and I was left alone. Life became just opposite of what I wanted/dreamt of. It was very difficult for me to cope with the social stigma and mental pressure of being affected by leprosy.”

“I was then told about TLM Naini by a doctor working in the district hospital and was referred for reconstructive surgery. I visited TLM Naini in 2007 for correction of claw hand, but with a ‘fear of surgery’. I was worried about what would happen to my hand. Would my hand really function again? Would it look normal? I had loads of doubts, but after a few Pre –operative counselling sessions I realised that I had nothing to fear. The counsellor and physiotherapists explained to me about what the surgery would involve and I felt confident and able to make a decision to go ahead. During my one month stay at the hospital I had regular counselling sessions, loving care and support from staff. This helped me pick up the courage to cope with the social stigma and take a firm stand against it. My surgery was successful and all I can say is that the reconstructive surgery was responsible for all the changes in my life.”

Beerbhan is a very shy and intelligent boy. He does not talk much but he expressed his happiness when he said “I cannot express my emotions and I do not have words to say what reconstructive surgery has done for me”. His smiling face tells the entire story. “Now I am living my life like any other young boy in my village. Life has changed. I now feel more comfortable, secure and confident of a good future. I will always be grateful to TLM Naini.” Currently Beerbhan is studying for Bachelor of Commerce (1st year) and goes to college regularly. He is not afraid of being ostracised by his colleagues. He gets financial help from the Community Based Rehabilitation project of TLM, under the CTY (Catch Them Young) scheme, for his education. He is a bright student and gets good grades. He also received an award /appreciation gift and certificate from a cooperative bank for excellence in study. He says further “I want to pursue my career in Business Management and to work for community development.” He now takes an active part in all social activities in his village. He is not afraid to speak about leprosy to his friends and to the community. He also refers all leprosy affected people with deformity including visual to TLM Naini hospital for treatment, and motivates them to have a positive outlook

Contact Information

The Leprosy Mission Hospital
PO - Naini, Allahabad - 211 008
Uttar Pradesh, INDIA
Phone: +91 532 2697267
Fax: +91 532 2697494
E-mail: naini@leprosymission.in
Donations given at The Leprosy Mission Trust India are exempted u/s 80G of IT Act 1961
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