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Supreme Court orders Centre, state to spread awareness about Leprosy

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered awareness program on Leprosy and patients suffering from the disease.
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered awareness program on Leprosy and patients suffering from the disease.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud ordered that awareness be spread about the free treatment available for leprosy patients.
The bench also directed the Centre and state governments to formulate schemes for the eradication of leprosy and rehabilitation of those suffering from it.
“Medical staff in private and government hospitals be sensitised to ensure that leprosy patients do not face discrimination,” the bench said.
The apex court also ordered that awareness should be launched so that people suffering from leprosy are not isolated. The order directed to spread awareness that leprosy patients are allowed to lead a normal life.
The court also asked the Centre and states to frame rules that public and private schools do not discriminate against children from leprosy-affected families.
The court also directed that leprosy patients should be given Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards so they can avail Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme, which provides highly subsidised food to the poorest families.
The apex court had on July 5 directed the Centre to file a comprehensive action plan to ensure eradication of leprosy from the country, saying the “curable” disease cannot be allowed to affect the people.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Pankaj Sinha alleging that the government was not taking adequate steps to eradicate the disease.
Earlier, the court had also rapped the authorities for their “apathy” towards eradicating leprosy from the country, saying despite it being “curable”, the disease still remained a stigma.

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