HYDERABAD: The event saw a participation of about 1000 people from leprosy colonies, senior citizens, health officials, volunteers, NSS students and medical and nursing students. Also giving their support to the cause were NGOs like CHAI, Alliance, FHI and corporates from IDBI, NTPC, Mahindra Powerol, JK White Cement, Hotel Minerva Grand, Sanskriti Education Trust, St. Peters School and many more.
Flagged off by the US Consul General, Katherine S Dhanani, the chief guest for the day, the walk began at 7 am from NTR gardens.
Other dignitaries included Justice Narayana Rao, AP High Court, Dr Rukmini Rao, board member, LEPRA India, Dr P V Ranganadha Rao, chief executive, LEPRA India and prominent TV artist Jhansi, also a board member of LEPRA India. Stills of Gandhi were also released on the occasion by Dr Rukmini Rao.
President of the Society of Leprosy affected persons, V Narasapa and his wife were felicitated on the occasion for their yeomen service to the leprosy affected people.
Speaking on the occasion Dr P V Ranganadha Rao, chief executive LEPRA India, said that in India during the year 2010-11, a total of 1,26,800 new leprosy cases were detected and put under treatment.
Among the new cases detected, the proportions were as follows - Multi Bacili cases (48.58%), female (36.20%), children (9.83%) and grade II disability (3.10%). In India, one new case is detected every five minutes, including 10,000 new leprosy affected children every year.
He also said that people affected with leprosy continue to be discriminated by society at large and called for the amendment of 14 discriminatory laws against people affected by leprosy.
Dhanani commended the initiative to create awareness among society about leprosy and and declared her support by walking for three kilometers.
She was accompanied by the other dignitaries, people affected by leprosy and other participants. To extend support for the cause with various display cards and slogans disseminating awareness and removing mis-conceptions of leprosy were carried by the participants.