Maureen O'Connell, CFO at Scholastic, Joins Hands to Support the Leprosy
Mission Trust India
NEW DELHI, India, June 23, 2014
NEW DELHI, India, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The Leprosy Mission Trust of India (LMTI) announced that Maureen O'Connell,
CFO at Scholastic Corporation, has joined hands to support the HEAL India
initiative by the Trust. She has not just joined as a donor but is willing to
support as a volunteer as well. The donation will extend support towards
creating awareness about the cause, myths, educational programmes, job
opportunities, rights & entitlements among the schools, communities, people
affected by leprosy and their families to enable them to lead a life of
People affected with leprosy are known to be stigmatized, discriminated and
their human rights are consistently violated. "Misconceptions lead to
discrimination, denying people affected by leprosy the right to a job they
deserve. HEAL India is helping people affected by leprosy access employment
opportunities. Helping them improve their skills through workshops, trainings
and connecting them to organizations. Giving them a fair chance to earn a
"Millions of people have been cured of leprosy and yet, many struggle to get a
job. Most of them are able, talented and hardworking and a lot like us -
except they don't get a chance to work and have an economically empowered
future," said Dr. Sunil Anand, Director Of The Leprosy Mission Trust of India.
A big issue is that in many parts of India, leprosy is seen as a curse or a
justified punishment for the sins people have committed and is considered
infectious as well. This is not just limited to social discrimination as at
least 17 national and 40 state laws contain discriminatory laws including
prohibiting affected people from contesting elections, obtaining a driving
license and travelling in trains. There are also existing laws that can allow
leprosy to be used as a reason for divorce which means affected people can
lose their home, belongings and access to their children.
Maureen O'Connell said, "I am touched with the conditions of people affected
by leprosy and the discrimination against them and I hope I can help improve
the lives of these people in some way. It is very disheartening to see what
they go through because of social stigmas."
Leprosy can be fully treated and cured within 6-12 weeks. There are over 850
colonies for people affected with leprosy in India. The LMTI is advocating
including them into mainstream society.
SOURCE The Leprosy Mission Trust of India (LMTI)
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