Ravi Sunar

Living with leprosy – a new outlook on life

“What is life?” I always wondered. I used to think life is a difficult journey, it has given me always new and difficult challenges which I had to face by myself. But when I came to Shining Hospital, my view towards life was totally changed.”

These are the words of Rajesh, a 22 year old patient at Shining Hospital Surkhet. His parents are very poor, so Rajesh left school and went to work in India to support his family. He found a job in sales and even got promoted to be a supervisor. “It was like all dreams had come true. I thought it was the end of my sorrows, my pain and my difficult life.” Rajish recalls.

On a visit back home to see his family he started to feel weak in his legs, so he went for a medical check-up and was diagnosed with leprosy.

He was deeply shocked and wondered “Why always me? Why?”

After taking medication for a few months, Rajish felt better and decided to go to India to earn money, but sadly, he stopped taking the medicine. The weakness in his legs returned and he was diagnosed again with leprosy. Rajish felt depressed and returned to his family.

One of their neighbours suggested that he should go to Shining Hospital Surkhet. He was immediately admitted and received treatment. His health improved day by day, and he learned about his condition, its complications and how to take care of himself.

He says “Before coming here I used to think, life is unfair. It has given pain and sorrows only to me. But here, my view towards life totally changed when I met other leprosy patients – young, old – even children… People with no fingers or toes, patients with no family members – but all had had hope and happiness in their eyes. It changed my perception about life. I used to think “why only me?”, but now I say thank you it’s me, as I found such a lovely and caring INF family here. Proudly I can say INF is my second family, where I can share my feelings, my problems and my life. INF has taught me to live life beautifully. Life is beautiful, but it is our thought that makes it complicated, so be positive, think positive and live positively. This is what I learned here.”