Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom & Leprosy eradication: Prof M S Swaminathan
Author : Prof M S Swaminathan
Chennai, January 30, 2017: Today marks the 69th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom. It also marks a day dedicated to Leprosy eradication. Gandhiji was keen that leprosy should become a problem of the past. Unfortunately nearly 60 percent of new leprosy patients are from India. In 1982, I presented a report on the eradication of Leprosy by the year 2000 as suggested by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Unfortunately we are one of the few countries where Leprosy is persisting. I therefore feel that the following 4 point programme I suggested in 1982 should be reviewed and revived:
Introduction of multi-drug therapy
Introduction of nutrition support system based on the principle food is the best medicine
Post-rehabilitation empowerment in terms of skills and jobs and spreading knowledge that leprosy is curable and that there is no need for isolating leprosy patients.
It is now becoming more important to provide rehabilitation measures as is being done by Anandwan in Vidarbha, a livelihood programme initiated by Baba Amte a visionary leader who devoted his life to a leprosy free India.
On this day when Gandhiji fell victim to an assassin bullet, we should rededicate ourselves to the cause of eradicating leprosy as soon as possible and to promoting non-violence and secular democracy.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.