The above photo shows Ajaram Nindra Bahadur Bikha, Care Haven Carer, receiving chocolate chip cookies from Mike Winterburn of NLT Ireland.
After Bal Kumari’s son died there was no one to care for her. Though cured of leprosy, she had a club foot and damaged eyes and suffered rejection from fellow villagers.
Dambar Aley, hospital director at Lalgadh Leprosy Services Centre (LLSC) recalls visiting her: ‘She was unable to close her eyes because the tears didn’t come regularly. She had a small infection from ash blowing into her eyes when she cooked. We gave her eye drops but one week later her eyes were badly infected.’ Bal Kumari was sent to hospital where both eyes had to be removed.
Bal Kumari was the first to benefit from the newly built Care Haven situated on land next to LLSC. With others she now lives in sheltered accommodation, cared for by a warden appointed by LLSC.
Proximity to LLSC means that the medical needs of residents like Bal Kumari can be monitored closely. The Care Haven was officially opened at Easter 2013.