Saturday, March 31, 2012


A few days ago we went to the leprosy colony called Bharathapurum.  This is the second colony I've been to during my time here.  I am amazed each time we go out into these colonies of how they live in the heat and poverty every day of their lives, and at how much love and generosity they show to everyone around them.  Bharathapurum is a more established colony than some.  They have a barber shop, a community center, and even an art studio!

When we drove up we split into two groups.  One group went to walk around the colony and greet people and the other group started washing feet of the leprosy afflicted.  I was in the first group walking around the colony, and we stopped by the art studio.  The people in the studio were so sweet and talented!  The art studio was started about 10 years ago by an Austrian man (not sure of his name). He taught painting to the people in the colony.  Their paintings are GORGEOUS!  I am going to load up on some when I go home, so if anyone would like me to get them one, let me know and I will pick one out for you.  They are about $45 american dollars each.  All of the artists have had leprosy and many are missing fingers or other limbs.  The people in the art studio actually have to be accepted into the studio, so they really are the best of the best. 

And this is the barber shop.  The barber has wounds from leprosy that are really deep.  He will probably have to have part of his leg amputated at some point.  I met him that day and he's such a happy guy.  He is very proud of his work as a barber.

The Barber

This is their community center where these pretty ladies are making pearl necklaces for "Pearls with a Purpose".  Pearls for a purpose teaches these womern how to start their own businesses using micro-lending.  Rising Star Outreach is very involved in Micro-Lending.  I can explain more on that later, but it's really helped these colonys become more functioning villages. 

New Computer Lab!


There's lots of trash everywhere...

And cows (2 of them... hahahhhaa)

Once we were done walking around the colony, we were able to go to the medical clinic and help wash the wounds of the leprosy afflicted patients.  Around 2 times a month we visit each colony to clean their feet and other wounds, and re-bandage them. Some people have more mild sores, and others, like the barber have deep ones.  We set up a row of stations for these folks to go through.  I was at the bandage removal area that day.  I helped remove old bandages.  The next person cleaned around the sores and soaked the patients feet.  The next rubbed oil around the wounds.  Lastly someone would re-bandage their wounds. 

The second woman I helped had no feet at all.  Her leprosy was obviously severe and I found it really difficult not to cry as I was taking off her bandages.  It's really humbling to come to a place like this.  It's just really hard to put into words.  

We had a podiatrist in our volunteer session. 

 That was the end of my time in Bharathapurum, but I am sure I will be back there in the next few months.  On a happy note, today was parents day at the school so most of the kids got to hang out with their families and I was able to meet a lot of them.  Sadly little Hari's parents didn't come visit, but his Grandma did.  I could tell he was really bummed out his parents weren't there. It totally broke my heart.  I made him a bracelet to try and help him feel better.  A few hours after I gave him the bracelet, I didn't see it on his wrist. I asked where it was, and he lifted his sleeve near his bicep and showed it to me. hahaa.  Apparently I made the bracelet wayyyy too big so he wore it at the top of his arm.  So cute.

This is a woman from Bharathapurum.  

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