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A Case Study of Leprosy Affected People and Children In South-delhi: Socially Excluded Community Of the Society
Leprosy is historically one of the most stigmatized diseases known to exist in human history. As per a 2013 report, India has the highest number of leprosy cases globally. Among all the new cases of leprosy reported from the world over, India, Brazil and Indonesia account for more than 80% of the 200,000 afflicted world-wide1. If the disease is left untreated, it can cause progressive and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs, and eyes leading to disability. Towards the end of 2019, there are 178,3712 cases, which corresponds to 22.9 cases per million population. Leprosy as a disease has both medical as well as social connotations attached to it. People who get affected by leprosy are often socially ostracized and banished from society. Therefore, these people live in a selfestablished community to support one another. These communities are not only spatially segregated but are also socially excluded. Thus, the people living in these communities are at a social disadvantage and are economically marginalized. The present study is an exploratory qualitative study, using phenomenological approach. The sample of 60 adults and 70 children was selected through purposive sampling. Data is collected from the field using semi-structured interviews. Data is transcribed, coded, represented and analyzed thematically. The findings of the study provides insights not only into the social, cultural and political life experiences and everyday practices of people and children and also how the existenting social stigma creates and deepens the binaries and hierarchies existing in society.
social exclusion, leprosy, stigma, community, South-East Delhi, education.
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