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Sasakawa- India Leprosy Foundation (S-ILF) inaugurates learning center for children living in leprosy colony in Rourkela, Odishaon on its 15th foundation day
Posted on November 23, 2021
Marking 15 years of its creation, the Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation (S-ILF), an organization dedicated to the social and economic empowerment of people affected by leprosy and their families, inaugurated a Learning Center for children living in the leprosy colony of Rourkela, Odisha. It’s the 11e such center, managed by S-ILF and the first in the state of Odisha. The Learning Center was inaugurated by Mr. TV Narendran, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel. Learning centers provide an opportunity to enable the full development of children living in marginalized leprosy colonies, with an emphasis on school and extracurricular activities, including sports and recreation. Other activities of the S-ILF include providing livelihood opportunities, scholarships for graduate professional studies and telemedicine health care for people affected by leprosy residing in the settlements. The socio-economic improvement of people affected by leprosy is an important tool in combating stigma and discrimination and enabling them to lead a life of dignity. The event took place in five leprosy colonies in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha. During the event, former fellows and livelihood recipients revealed through their testimonies how the support has helped transform their lives. A cultural event was also organized showcasing the talent of young people. These events were captured for all thanks to the virtual platform.
Mr. TV Narendran expressed immense appreciation for the work undertaken by S-ILF to eliminate leprosy and how its efforts to provide livelihoods and educational support to those affected by the disease have helped to overcome stigma and enable integration into society. opportunity, Mr. Tarun Das, President, S-ILF recalled the major milestones in S-ILF’s 15-year journey and that through new initiatives such as the decentralization of offices, S-ILF had ensured that they remained close to beneficiaries. Patron of S-ILF, Mr. YoheiSasakawa (WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination), in his message from Japan, commended the organization for its tireless efforts to integrate people affected by leprosy. Dr VivekLal, CEO of S-ILF, present in Rourkela, reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to further increase education and livelihood support opportunities for people affected by leprosy and their families.