Nearly years after it was set up through donations,the leprosy ashram at Ferozepur finally got financial help by way of Rs 25 lakh from a politician Parminder Singh Pinki.
The ashram,which is situated on the Waqf Board land,has been surviving for over half a decade on doles from people.
We had got slips printed for Rs 5 each and our members used to sell them at various points to run the ashram. A few good people off and on give us food or blankets to celebrate birthday of their wards but we have never been given any funds to make this ashram a better place to live, says Raj Kumar,president of the ashram and a leprosy patient.
No doubt leprosy is curable but we are still dejected by society. People dont allow us to enter their houses and stay away from us. They treat us like untouchables, he says.
More than 50 families with their wives and children are staying here.
Though we get medicines from civil hospital off and on but we are short of bandages,which are a must to clean our wounds regularly, says another inmate Ravi Kumar.
However,the district administration feigned ignorance over lack of funds for the ashram.
Though we have a district leprosy officer appointed but the ashram never contacted us for any funds so far. So,government help was not possible in the past. They can contact us in future with their demands and funds needed, says Ferozepur Deputy Commissioner S Karuna Raju.