News Release

LDS Charities Donate to an Indian Community

LDS Charities donated needed items to a community which suffers from the effects of leprosy.   The event was celebrated on July 3, 2016.   The community is in the Narayana Bamam Village, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh State of India.

LDS Charities is a humanitarian division of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Church. 

The Shanti Rehabilitation Centre sponsored the event and had the items manufactured.  The event was co-sponsored by the Church.  The Church donated the material for shoes, sunglasses, eating devices and first aid kits.

Leprosy is a disease that affects the nerves, respiratory tract, skin and eyes.  The disease is treatable if caught early and is not highly contagious.   When contracted, the areas first affected are the appendages, i.e., fingers and feet.   The skin forms ulcers or open wounds, requiring first-aid care.  The eyes become very sensitive to sunlight.   If toe tissue is damaged; walking then becomes difficult.  The disease can be disabling.  More than half of the world’s new leprosy cases occur in India.

Men and women were given custom-made shoes.   Each patient was given their own shoe depending on the advancement of their disease.  The shoes were made with specialized material to give comfort to their oversensitive skin.   Sunglasses were given to protect their sensitive eyes.  Eating tools were made from leather and Velcro, attaching a spoon to each manipulative device. 

Dr. G Veykata Prasad, Chittoor District Leprosy Officer stated, “We have never had an NGO help us so much. Thank you.”

The people were very excited.  When it was time to receive their item, they quickly stood and gathered around the table.  The recipients gave thanks in a very grateful fashion - they touched their hands to their forehead and their chin, then touched the givers’ feet. 

Darla and Larry Newton, serving as humanitarian missionaries in India, attended the event.  They said, “We are thankful that the Lord allowed us to help these wonderful humble people.”

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