Supreme Court lays out directions for rehabilitation of leprosy patients

The Supreme Court has passed a set of directions that aim to facilitate the rehabilitation of people who have undergone treatment for leprosy.

The court also spoke against the discriminatory statutes against leprosy patients. Due to lack of awareness about the disease, there is a huge stigma around it in India.

Most people are not aware that leprosy has a cure and can be treated through medication and care.

The court has issued some instructions that need to be followed by the center and state government to ensure the rehabilitation of leprosy patients. Some of these are instructions are:

• The centre government will carry out awareness campaigns at various levels to let people know that leprosy is curable.

• All India Radio and Doordarshan on National and regional channels should broadcast programs that give out information about leprosy. The programs will be used to let people know that leprosy is not a communicable disease.

• Hospitals cannot deny treatment to people with leprosy.

• The governments at centre and states will undertake activities and schemes to ensure rehabilitation of leprosy patients.

• The governments will also be responsible for eradicating the stigma associated with leprosy in the Indian society.

The courts has asked the Centre and the State governments to follow up on the instructions and submit compliance reports regarding their implementation.

The court will reconvene over this matter on 8 August.

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