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WIN Opens at Dattapur Leprosy Colony

WE ARE pleased to officially announce Women In Need is now renting a number of vacant buildings at Dattapur leprosy colony, to shelter destitute women.

Dattapur played a significant role in the conception of WIN and START. It was in 1995 that Leah and Usha first met at the colony and both have a strong sense of loyalty towards Dattapur.

They were concerned with the lack of financial support for its 200 female patients. WIN has therefore decided to contribute towards improving the quality of life of these neglected women.

Here our ladies can recuperate and continue treatment for illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and Schizophrenia, whilst acquiring new skills: reading, writing, spinning, weaving, tailoring and farming.

The new premises consists of four dormitories, two workshop spaces, 12 bathroom and toilet facilities, an office and dining hall, plus one acre of land where the women can grow their own vegetables, maintaining Dattapur's concept of self sufficiency.

Additional crops grown on the land will be purchased by Dattapur, for the colony's patients and the profits distributed to the women responsible for growing them.

The rehabilitation and training centre was opened on 11 September 2009 by Dr Desikan and Dr Sharma, who have worked extensively in the field of leprosy for more than 60 years.

20 destitute women have been accommodated in the new shelter and many have already begun to make remarkable improvements.

Some have been subjected to violent crimes such as rape and abuse and as such, are traumatised. The peaceful rural setting of the colony, with the addition of a constructive daily routine, is helping to restore a sense of hope for these broken women.

Women In Need also welcomes the opportunity to survey nearby villages, where women maybe more susceptible to poverty, exploitation and violence, and where illiteracy and superstition are prevalent.

Additionally, contact has been established with local hospitals, Sevegram Medical Hospital and Saungi. The Deans of both institutions are keen to collaborate with the charity to help us reach those who have significant medical and socio-economic problems.

For a history of Dattapur and its connection with Mahatma Gandhi, click here.

Please continue to visit our website over the coming weeks, as we reveal the work that has gone into pulling the new Dattapur premises out of disrepair and the new projects WIN hopes to achieve. Photos:

1. WIN's new rehabilitation and training facility; 2. Dr and Mrs Sharma (left & centre) and Dr Desikan (right); 3-4. Opening ceremony; 5. Sheltered ladies enjoying the new facility; 6. Leah and Usha visit Dattapur colony's leprosy patients

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