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National youth fest creates awareness among youth about leprosy

Kolkata: Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation (S-ILF)  organized ‘Youth Against Leprosy’, a National Youth Festival on January 31 to raise awar...

Kolkata: Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation (S-ILF) organized ‘Youth Against Leprosy’, a National Youth Festival on January 31 to raise awareness about leprosy amongst the younger generation. The Youth Festival was organized at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi. Chandrajit Banerjee, DG, CII, was the chief guest at the event. The 9th Youth against Leprosy (YAL) Event function was a finale of National Youth Festival, 2023 which saw the participation of colleges from all over India that undertook the program and training. The festival witnessed widespread participation of youth that engaged in creative activities to make the event a success.

Sayed Imam, Member, Board of Trustee, Sasakawa-India leprosy Foundation said, “It is very unfortunate that the youth of India have little or no knowledge around the myths associated with leprosy which results in stigma and discrimination against those affected by leprosy and their families. The very little knowledge that they gain is often vague and endorses the stigma against the disease. At the foundation, we are committed to sensitize the youth so that they can spread the word and contribute towards the elimination of stigma leading to a more inclusive and empathetic society. We hope to reach out the maximum number of Youth every year through Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation’s new initiative The Youth Festival at both regional and national levels." As of now we at S-ILF have sensitized 12000 plus students from colleges & schools & reached out to more than 17 lakh youth through our Awareness Sessions & Youth Festivals.”   

Addressing the event Gaurab Sen, CEO, Sasakawa-India Leprosy Foundation said, “Usually the younger generation has very little or no understanding of leprosy as a disease. Whatever little they may know comes from family and friends and is often vague and reaffirms the stigma against the disease. If the youth get sensitized at a young age, they can significantly contribute towards elimination which is the final goal. With this thought and vision, S-ILF engages youth through its various programmes, and mobilizes them to join the fight against leprosy. Also, to motivate the younger generation with Leprosy background, we give them training under our education programme and I am delighted to share with you that the youth is doing very well for themselves.”

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