With the development of science and medical research, it has now been proved that leprosy is just like any other disease and its early detection and treatment can lead to its cure, though there can not be any relief from the deformity caused. Plastic surgery and physiotherapy has, of course, been helpful to some extent in the partial movement of their strained limbs and joints.
Thus it is needless to emphasize that the economic and social rehabilitation of a leprosy affected person is the prime need of the day to give them all opportunities to lead respectable life of a citizen.
The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959, as extended to Union Territory of Delhi, is in operation leading to arrest of leprosy affected beggars. Besides, Persons With Disability Act 1995 defined leprosy cured persons as “Disabled Persons” and they can avail disability pension, if eligible.
The RCL (Rehabilitation Centre for Leprosy Affected Persons) scheme has been implemented since 1981. This scheme was meant for those Leprosy Affected Persons who were permanently residing in Delhi prior to 1981. This cut off date of 1981 was later extended to 1993. In the beginning, these leprosy affected persons were provided with facilities like dry ration, clothing, bedding, medicines etc.
In 1989, it was decided that a cash amount of Rs. 300 per month would be given in lieu of these items. This amount was increased after every few years and at present it is Rs. 1800/- per month. It is paid in the bank account of beneficiaries through Electronic Clearance System (ECS).
Objectives of RCL Scheme
The Objectives of RCL Scheme are as under:
1. To wean away the leprosy patients from begging
2. To provide for residential facilities and for maintenance of the patients by giving them dry ration, clothing and bedding, as per the prescribed norms
3. To provide suitable work opportunities by training them in simple crafts through the Sheltered Workshop, so as to make them self supporting and self-reliant;
4. To help them in acquiring self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment through self-employment scheme leading their economic independence.
ThreeCategories of LAPs
As per the medical reports submitted by the Medical Board constituted for conducting the Medical Examination of the Leprosy Affected Persons (LAPs), there are three categories of LAPs viz:
1. Some of them may have active bacteria of leprosy and suffering from the disease.
2. Some though fully cured, bear the residual effect of the disease in some form of physical deformity.
3. Some might be fully cured of the disease at present and do not bear any signs or residual effects of the disease and their limbs are normal.
Each category should be treated separately.The first category requires active treatment, care rehabilitation as per the existing policy of the government. The second category may be treated as disabled person and provided assistance accordingly.These persons should not be discriminated as LAPs but rather be treated as disabled persons for better assimilation in the society.The segregation of these persons is not in their interest.The third category does not require any support/assistance from the government since they are normal.
The provisions of the “Persons with Disability Act 1995” wherein leprosy cured is one of the categories in the definition of Disability as mentioned at Section 2(i)(iii) as Disabled person. They should be extended the financial assistance as per the definition of leprosy cured persons, as defined in the Persons with Disability Act 1995 and to be extended the financial assistance as per the scheme being run by the Deptt. of Social Welfare.
Last Update Date :- 14-03-2018
Page last updated on: 28-02-2020