Welcoming the unloved, caring for the outcast.
Rejected and despised, leprosy affected people, a common sight on Mumbai’s streets are not even permitted to use public baths. They are forced to bathe in seawater, further damaging their skin. A desire to address this inhuman situation led to the launch of Karuna 12 years ago through the Holy Spirit placing a burden on a man named Michael Dcosta.
He and a Rosemary, a qualified nurse from the UK who dedicated her life to serving the poor in India, began this initiative. The first gift they gave the leprosy affected patients was a chance to have a fresh water bath, rather than sea water, which they were used to. This expression of compassion gave rise to the building of a mobile clinic that travels five, sometimes six days a week to different locations providing easy medical access to these rejected people. In addition the Karuna Mobile Clinic provides bathing facilities and care for over 500 patients. Often the interaction with the staff and volunteers is the highlight of the week for these rejected people.
A night shelter in Vashi, social gatherings, assistance for specialized medical care in government hospitals and even a children’s work in Goregaon is included in the growing service of this welcome project.
This outreach to the leprosy affected has led to a door being opened in the town of Gulbarga some 600 kms away. Here, Karuna has begun pioneering a community development project within a colony comprising of leprosy affected people situated on the outskirts of this town.
Since then, Karuna has changed many lives, both of those who were served and of those who were serving. As of today, they have 9 clinics across Mumbai and Kalyan. Audilia George, a nurse by profession, who is also part of Living Word is the Project Co-ordinator of this work.
If you are wondering how to help the poor in India, here is an amazing opportunity to get involved and make a difference.