Huddled in the corner of the room, Anara hugged her children close. There was little she could do about the rains and wind that swept through their home. She wasn’t sure what intrusions bothered her most – the winds, the rain, the snakes or the dogs.
Yet at that time in her life, Anara had already come through so much. When she was 30 years old, a health care worker was travelling through her village checking for signs of leprosy. A numb patch was found on her arm and the tests confirmed it: Anara had leprosy.
Anara spent weeks at the Leprosy Mission Hospital in Naini four different times over two years. She had cataract surgery and received care for a serious reaction she had to the medicines used in the Multi-Drug Therapy used for leprosy.
Life was extremely difficult. The whole family was pushed to the fringes of the community, deeply immersed in extreme poverty. Her home was a shack built of asbestos sheets glued together with mud. It was no protection from the rain, snakes or stray dogs.
Then, during one of her visits to the hospital, Anara mentioned the state of her home to a staff member. That casual conversation changed her life forever.
Today, thanks in part to the generosity of Canadians, Anara lives in a “pucca” house (meaning solid and permanent) has a stone foundation, brick walls and a secure roof. This new home not only keeps her family safe from animals and the elements, it has changed the way her neighbours see her as a welcomed member of her community.