Sasakawa- India Leprosy Foundation Celebrates 3rd ‘Youth Against Leprosy’ Festival

Held at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, 160 students from 30 colleges participated in the Youth Festival.

To raise awareness about leprosy and to eliminate the stigma surrounding, Sasakawa- India Leprosy Foundation organized ‘Youth Against Leprosy’, a national youth festival, in remembrance of Mahatma Gandhi and his commitment towards raising awareness on leprosy.

Held at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi, this was the third youth festival following the two regional youth festivals held in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The function was a finale of all participating 160 students from 30 colleges all over India. The participants engaged in dances and short skits with complete enthusiasm and splendour.

The cultural event was followed by speeches from scholars- Nagmani Naidu, from Chhattisgarh, and Sumit, from Bangalore, who shared their experiences being a part of the leprosy colony. Next, prize distribution took place for the cultural show. Executive director of the foundation, Dr. Vineeta Shanker, board member Mrs. Syeda Imam, and Chief guest Radhika Bharat ram also addressed the audience.

S-ILF’s annual youth festival provides a platform for young people from non-leprosy backgrounds to mingle and interact with the youth from leprosy background. These interactions are aimed to bust myths and create social bridges among college youth regarding leprosy. The students are connected as a community through the social media campaign named #CreatingHope.

On the occasion, Mr. Tarun Das, Chairman, Sasakawa- India Leprosy Foundation said, “Integration of youth from the leprosy colonies with youth from outside the colonies is an essential part of S-ILF activities to eradicate stigma and discrimination. The Youth Festivals organized have served a very useful purpose in achieving this objective.”

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