Sarva is presently working in three slum leprosy colonies, where a variety of WELFARE PROJECTS have been undertaken.
These include assistance in the building of a wall, 1,400-feet in length, that has now enabled the community to grow their own vegetables and thereby establish a new level of self-sufficiency, which had until now been impossible for them. They are now producing so much crop – onions, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, ginger, chillies, pumpkin, aubergine, chickpeas, lentils, carrots, radish, spinach, loofah, papaya and basil – that they have not only improved their health through better nutrition, but are beginning to sell the surplus to increase their communal income. Sarva has recently added to their potential yield with the provision of a seed stock that will produce an even wider range of vegetables next season.
This new confidence has inspired this colony to begin to explore projects for themselves. This year, for example, they sold scrap metal they had collected, pooled the money and built two little one-room houses, which they now let to other slum residents in order to produce a communal income.
Sarva maintains a Medical Fund that ensures a slum leprosy colony has access to all the basic medicines and dressings they require. This gives them independence from the slum mafia's abominable and abusive 'protection racket', which has long controlled and limited their access to proper medical attention.
Sarva has provided clean water through a deep-bore well for another leprosy colony. This functions at the push of a button, rather than the heavy pump handles, which many people affected by leprosy are unable to work due to the loss of the use of their hands. This damage is a result of the way in which the disease initially kills the peripheral nerves in the body, anaesthetising the extremities, and thus leading to injury and chronic infection.
The support has been secured of two members of state government, who have personally undertaken to apply for a grant directly from Delhi to assist in improving the lives of those with whom Sarva works. The interest of these officials in Sarva’s projects and their subsequent dogged persistence has now seen the release of funding to finally provide not only a sewage system and electricity to three long-neglected leprosy colonies, but also their first school.
Sarva has repaid the out-standing loans of a hard-working widowed mother of five, enabling her to bring them all home from the local 'orphanage'. In addition, funding has been provided for the education of her two sons and three daughters.
Through the generosity of a supporter, in memory of her late parents, Sarva has been able to provide one leprosy colony with good quality blankets. The winter winds are chilling and nights bitter, so this donation has not only provided rare comfort to these neglected and abused people, but also protection against seasonal infections to which they are most vulnerable.
Sarva has funded the cataract operation of a local carpenter, which has fully restored his sight, enabling him to once again support his young and greatly impoverished family.
What your money will buy:
£376 an electric, deep-bore well to provide clean water
£100 35 cotton mattresses for children in a leprosy hostel
£60 a sight-saving eye operation
£15 one month's food supply for a family of four
£1.10 three month's basic medical supplies for a sufferer of leprosy