R. Madhavan appeals for ‘dignity’ to leprosy victims

New Delhi: Actor R. Madhavan, who has supported leprosy initiatives, wants victims of the skin and nerve disease to live with dignity.

Japanese photographer Natsuko Tominaga travelled across India to capture examples of leprosy cured patients. Thirty such photographs of cured leprosy patients are the subject of her photo exhibition.

Recognising this effort, Madhavan said in a statement: “Medically, leprosy is a curable disease. Emotionally, it plunders every last ounce of dignity you have – by making you feel rejected and unwanted.”

“I congratulate the WHO and Nippon Foundation for this photo exhibition of leprosy survivors, heroes who have a message to give – leprosy is just another curable disease!”

He also posted an image of one such cured leprosy victim on his social media accounts.

Yohei Sasakawa, head of the Nippon Foundation, and the WHO goodwill ambassador for Leprosy Elimination since 2001, said: “These are powerful images of hope, which convey that leprosy is curable and that there is life after leprosy.”

Speaking about her exhibition, Tominaga said: “I am very grateful to R. Madhavan for his support. His powerful message will energise people to stop discriminating against leprosy.”

“Over the last 16 years, I have visited many individuals affected by leprosy. It saddens me to see the level of discrimination they face and realise how many members of the general public are not aware that leprosy is a curable disease.

“The aim of this exhibition is to show the impact of leprosy on individuals and their families, and raise awareness so that society may be more supportive.”

The exhibition, which started on Thursday, is on for 10 days at the India International Centre here.