Care of Lepers
CARE OF LEPERS
History of Jeevodaya – Abhanpur
The ‘Jeevodaya Social and Leprosy Rehabilitation Centre’ (SLRC) for children and adults affected by leprosy and the children of the leprosy patients is situated in Abhanpur, 20 kilometers south of Raipur City. Fr. Dr. Adam Wisniewski, SAC of the Polish Province started the centre. He worked in Lyons, France before coming to India. Fr. Adam Wisniewski came to India in 1961. After obtaining his entry visa for India he went to the Provincial house of the Sacred Heart Province, Friedberg. There, on September 03, 1961, together with Bro. Martin Geis, he was commissioned for the missions by the Provincial Rev. Fr. Sittenauer. About a month later he arrived in Bombay on October 07, 1961 and in Raipur on October 12, 1961. He received a cordial welcome from Fr. Weidner, then delegate superior in India. After his arrival in India Fr. Adam Wisniewski worked some time in Mysore and also engaged himself in the promoting of vocations to the Society which also brought him in contact with some of the bishops of South India. After his activities in Mysore came to an end, he worked for a time in Kutela and Tumgaon, and at the Christsahaya dispensary in Raipur. His desire to start a Leprosy Rehabilitation Centre was materialized when, on October 24, 1969, Msgr. Weidner laid the foundation stone for Jeevodaya.
The work on the building progressed fast and the first five boys affected with leprosy were admitted already on December 05, 1969. On January 30, 1971 the centre was officially declared open by Mr. Ambedkar, the MLA from Abhanpur, and Msgr. John Weidner blessed the main building. This centre served not only leprosy patients but also mentally disabled children and children from broken families.
In his work at the centre he was assisted by Sr. Barbara Yacenta, also from Poland. Together they attempted to found two religious congregations, one for women and another for men. These were aimed at recruiting and training dedicated women and men to work for children, especially those abandoned and for the lepers. Already in 1979 a team from Jeevodaya visited the neighboring dioceses of Raigarh and Ranchi to recruit girls and boys for the newly founded Congregations. These did not last very long, and lack of proper and systematic training facilities caused them to end up in failure. Soon, through the intervention of the Bishop of Raipur, the new Congregations were dissolved.
The death of Fr. Adam Wisniewski on July 31, 1987 was a great blow to the centre. Though, the Pallottines showed interest in taking over the administration of the centre that could not be realized due to the uncompromising attitude of Sr. Barbara on the issue. She, however, left the centre later and it was then taken care of by Sr. Helena Pyz, also from Poland.
In 1997, at the request of Sr. Helena, the Pallottines decided to assume charge of the centre. Fr. Abraham Thylammanal was appointed its new director. Under his guidance the centre has begun to show signs of renewed life. The credit goes to Fr. Abraham and his staff that the centre now has educational facilities up to the higher secondary for the inmates and it is recognized by the Chhattisgarh Board of Education. The school was begun for the children of the leper colonies who otherwise would be discriminated in public schools. The first batch of students appeared for the Metric Board Examination in 2001 and secured commendable results.
Today the centre has about 450 persons in the campus of these, more that 200 are children of the leprosy patients. Jeevodaya has also a hospital and mobile clinic for the treatment of the leprosy patients even in the far flung areas.
Jeevodaya, Social and Leprosy
Rehabilitation Centre, Gatapar
Abhanpur P. O. – 493 661 Tel: 0771/2120252
Raipur Dist., C. G. Website: www.jeevodaya.org
Fr. Adam Memorial Hr. Sec. School E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Vincent Pallotti Eng. Med. School
Fr. Adam Memorial Boys’ & Girls’ Hostel
THE SOCIAL AND LEPROSY REHABILITAION CENTRE JEEVODAYA .It is a Charity institution for rehabilitation and education of people affected by leprosy and their families founded in 1969, by the Poles (Fr. Adam Wisniewski) Pallottine, and Sr. Barbara Bircczyńska)
Social and Leprosy Rehabilitation Centre Jeevodaya
From the very beginning Jeevodaya has undertaken a triple implementation of the mission: lepers’ treatment, their social rehabilitation by work and education of the children from the families affected by leprosy, who do not have such an opportunity in India.
Presently, the only doctor in the Centre is Dr. Helena Pyz. There is a clinic on the spot where the lepers as well as the poor people affected by tuberculosis and other diseases are treated (10000 patients and circa 100 new cases of leprosy are diagnosed per year) . Assistance to two other dispensers within 200 km from jeevodaya is provided as well as the medical care for other lepers’ colonies are organized.