Leprosy Rehabilitation Center

The stigma attached to leprosy is everywhere, means that people avoid contact of any kind with them. Leprosy Rehabilitation Centre (Sarvodaya Nager) is one of the initiatives of SMIDS to rehabilitate the leprosy affected people.  This rehabilitation centre was built in 1997 to provide a safe place for these neglected people rejected by society and even family members.  Sixty houses were built. Today there are 42 families with 94 members living in this rehabilitation centre.  Each family is accommodated in a separate house. They have electricity,  a water tap in each street, a community hall, dispensary, gardens and space to rear goats and chickens.  Doctors and medical practitioners from government leprosy hospital, Madurai, visit the centre periodically to check the residents and provide necessary medicines.  SMIDS encourages general public to visit these families and help them by providing them food, clothing etc.  Majority of the leprosy sufferers still continue to earn their living by begging, as they are unable to work. A few of them are engaged in chicken rearing, goat rearing and making toys.  Necessary psychological support is provided to the residents by the sisters through periodic counseling and personal interaction.
Children from this leprosy affected families are pursuing their school and college studies with the generous financial assistance of different benefactors.

  1. House Maintenance

    Houses at the leprosy colony were constructed in the year 1997 and we have not done any major repair since these years. Forty-two (42) houses are in a very damaged condition which needs urgent repair like wall plastering, flooring, roof repair etc. During the rainy season they are facing undue hardships. House maintenance include replacing the damaged roof, flooring and walls. We propose to repair these houses with your generous financial assistance. SMIDS will oversee the maintenance work and ensure that the work is done properly.

  1. Drinking Water Problem

     Families are struggling to collect drinking water from the existing bore well. Further their physical deformity due to leprosy is a big problem in fetching water. It is an urgent need of these disadvantaged families to have 24 hours water supply in their houses. This will ease their life and help them to lead a hygienic living.  We propose to lay pipes and fittings to ensure water supply to the houses of the leprosy patients from the existing bore well and necessary pipes and fittings inside the houses. The estimated total cost of the plumbing work is 2,50,000/-  (USD 3016)

        Total Cost of the Project              Rs. 4762000/- (USD 57 448)

        Project Duration                            12 Months (One Year)


Residents of the leprosy Colony are in need of money to manage their basic needs. Nowadays they are engaged in begging and other strange activities to fetch income for them.  At the same time many of them are good in art and drawing as per a test we did.  We propose to train the leprosy colony residents in drawing and painting.  Aim of this initiative is to transform the lives of leprosy affected people and those with disabilities living in Kanyakumari, teaching them drawing and painting skills as a livelihood means and dissuade them from begging to help them rediscover their dignity.


To teach them drawing and painting skills as a livelihood means :

  • To help them express their ideas, their feelings through the medium of art
  • To dissuade them from begging in the streets of Kanniyakumari and nearby towns.
  • To conduct exhibitions in important places to sell their works.
  • To transform them as agents of social change.

The art school will operate from the community hall /Chapel in the colony.  Since the school is for them, it will be run at their convenience. Many of them are into doing several things to generate income on an everyday basis which includes selling items for tourists , small job works and begging on the streets. They have to make money every day to run their lives whether they are alone or as couples or as families. Since they all move out in the morning and return in the afternoon the classes would function from 2 pm to 4 pm or from 3 pm to 4pm according to their convenience depending on from time to time as their work changes depending on season in the tourist centre.

 Monetary incentive:  In order to encourage them to come and attend the art school regularly, a monetary incentive will be provided to those who come to the art school on all days of work. This will be paid at the end of the month. Depending on the availability of support for this the monetary support may be increased.

Livelihood dimension of Art school

Once they are able to produce art work that is of a reasonable quality it will be sold locally with a base at the StellaMaris office in Kanyakumari and then at Nagercoil will then be sold through special exhibitions held in important places and institutions.  Prior to the exhibitions it will be framed professionally and exhibited with a note of the artist and also about the artist.  When exhibitions are held, the artists would be taken to the site so the visitors to the gallery will know the artist who has done it.  This could be done in Kovalam in Kerala, in alliance Française, Goethe institute, Lalit kala academy and other art galleries in Trivandrum. The exhibitions will also be held in Kottayam, Ernakulam and other towns. Every month even during the training period the inmates would be given a canvas board for them to paint whatever that they have on their mind.

This will be collected and sold at a standard rate to add up the revenue to purchase materials for the art school.

The Stella Maris Art School would provide all the materials and once the exhibitions start getting held the money collected will be channelled in the following way whichever is acceptable to the Art School members.

The art school project is a great diversion from their dull and drab life style of the leprosy affected people of the colony and it will bring newness of life to their routine life.  Though it will be a very big challenge to make them change the way they look at life, the way they earn and live through begging when the breakthrough is made they will find the new identity a very welcoming uplifting one with dignity. The very aim of the art school is to help them find that dignity and a new world through art school.