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In Pictures: 'My heart lies here'
While some consider leprosy an ancient disease, those with it are still stigmatized and resort to living in colonies.
Last updated: 07 May 2014 07:55
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It is perhaps one of the world's most misunderstood infectious diseases. Believed by many to be both incurable and highly contagious, leprosy is, in fact, neither.

If caught and treated early enough, disability can be averted. But if left untreated, it can cause progressive and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 14 million leprosy patients have been cured in the past 20 years and four million since 2000.

But it has proved harder to eradicate the social stigma surrounding the disease. Many of those with the disease are shunned by their families and communities, and are forced to make a meagre living by begging. Some, in countries such as India where the disease remains endemic, move into colonies, where they construct homes from discarded scraps and often live out their lives with little contact with the families they left behind.

Janardan Yadaz was diagnosed with leprosy in 1978 and moved into the Ashapur colony in India. He has only been home once in the past 30 years. He says: "Ashapur is my home, my heart lies here." 


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
The entrance to the Ashapur leprosy colony.


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
Residents often build their own homes in the colony.


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
A resident of the Ashapur colony offers his morning prayers.


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

This resident of the colony lives there with her 55-year-old mother.



/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

A resident with her breakfast.



/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
Shyam Narayan Singh, 65, has lived at Ashapur for 16 years.


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

After being diagnosed with leprosy in 1978, Ashapur resident Janardan Yadaz, says he made a living by begging at 'ghats' or holy places, along the Ganges River. Now he says he has found a sense of belonging in the colony.



/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
Members of the colony prepare food for fellow residents. They have all found a community with each other.


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Ashapur's swami and manager Ramesh Chandre Srivastav, and the caretaker Upadai return from a tea break.



/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
Srivastav and Upadai help a resident clean his wounds and change his bandages.


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
Daneshar, 80, takes a break after receiving medical treatment at Ashapur.


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
Daneshar suffers from a cataract in his right eye.


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

After developing cataracts in both eyes, Baran Umarao became completely blind. This didn't prevent him from being a productive member of Ashapur. He has since passed away, but his morning routine was always to rise at 3am, brew tea for the residents and scrub the hallway in the living area.



/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Lallan has lived at Ashapur for 25 years. He no longer has leprosy, but insists on staying at the colony. 'This is my family now,' he says.



/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
Gita, 55, and her daughter, both live in the Ashapur community.


/Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
Residents walk around the colony at the end of the day.



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images:
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captions:
The entrance to the Ashapur leprosy colony.;*;Residents often build their own homes in the colony.;*;A resident of the Ashapur colony offers his morning prayers. ;*;

This resident of the colony lives there with her 55-year-old mother.

;*;

A resident with her breakfast.

;*;Shyam Narayan Singh, 65, has lived at Ashapur for 16 years. ;*;

After being diagnosed with leprosy in 1978, Ashapur resident Janardan Yadaz, says he made a living by begging at (***)ghats(***) or holy places, along the Ganges River. Now he says he has found a sense of belonging in the colony.

;*;Members of the colony prepare food for fellow residents. They have all found a community with each other. ;*;

Ashapur(***)s swami and manager Ramesh Chandre Srivastav, and the caretaker Upadai return from a tea break.

;*;Srivastav and Upadai help a resident clean his wounds and change his bandages. ;*;Daneshar, 80, takes a break after receiving medical treatment at Ashapur.;*;Daneshar suffers from a cataract in his right eye. ;*;

After developing cataracts in both eyes, Baran Umarao became completely blind. This didn(***)t prevent him from being a productive member of Ashapur. He has since passed away, but his morning routine was always to rise at 3am, brew tea for the residents and scrub the hallway in the living area.

;*;

Lallan has lived at Ashapur for 25 years. He no longer has leprosy, but insists on staying at the colony. (***)This is my family now,(***) he says.

;*;Gita, 55, and her daughter, both live in the Ashapur community. ;*;Residents walk around the colony at the end of the day. Daylife ID:
a7ea0eb065e0437ddd42b90130f51eae
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera;*;Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Leprosy 'My heart lies here'http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27en-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Sun, 26 Jan 2014 11:49:53 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/c487873609bd914a31758b7b3a86fc6f

The entrance to the Ashapur leprosy colony.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/c487873609bd914a31758b7b3a86fc6fYan Seiler/Al Jazeera

The entrance to the Ashapur leprosy colony.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/9e39b191b9974fb6c7a2ca69be34cfa1

Residents often build their own homes in the colony.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/9e39b191b9974fb6c7a2ca69be34cfa1Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Residents often build their own homes in the colony.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/cbf7abf737a2e182cbb1ea9fa7169761

A resident of the Ashapur colony offers his morning prayers.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/cbf7abf737a2e182cbb1ea9fa7169761Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

A resident of the Ashapur colony offers his morning prayers.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/1752283409a02ea2147f6ce47e5ae8d4

This resident of the colony lives there with her 55 year old mother.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/1752283409a02ea2147f6ce47e5ae8d4Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

This resident of the colony lives there with her 55 year old mother.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/d6c93ec2f43fad7ab6fe644ca46e0960

A resident carries breakfast.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/d6c93ec2f43fad7ab6fe644ca46e0960Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

A resident carries breakfast.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/ab1f06868d900fa1d332451de795b5cc

Shyam Narayan Singh, 65, has lived at Ashapur for 16 years.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/ab1f06868d900fa1d332451de795b5ccYan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Shyam Narayan Singh, 65, has lived at Ashapur for 16 years.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/e8cef31faa11bffe6cad368fcaf5275c

After being diagnosed with leprosy in 1978, Ashapur resident Janardan Yadaz, says he made a living by begging at 'ghats', or holy places, along the Ganges River. Now he says he has found a sense of belonging in the colony.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/e8cef31faa11bffe6cad368fcaf5275cYan Seiler/Al Jazeera

After being diagnosed with leprosy in 1978, Ashapur resident Janardan Yadaz, says he made a living by begging at 'ghats', or holy places, along the Ganges River. Now he says he has found a sense of belonging in the colony.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/bd0b0cb17564b4d109d1fddf26af0ba5

Members of the colony prepare food for fellow residents. They have all found a community with each other.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/bd0b0cb17564b4d109d1fddf26af0ba5Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Members of the colony prepare food for fellow residents. They have all found a community with each other.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/286e443a44bd460c2a59c50a8506aaae

Ashapur's swami and manager Ramesh Chandre Srivastav, and the caretaker Upadai return from tea break.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/286e443a44bd460c2a59c50a8506aaaeYan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Ashapur's swami and manager Ramesh Chandre Srivastav, and the caretaker Upadai return from tea break.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/1c6612582a21ed8b7495af43d1778740

Srivastav and Upadai help a resident clean his wounds and change his bandages.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/1c6612582a21ed8b7495af43d1778740Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Srivastav and Upadai help a resident clean his wounds and change his bandages.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/0b7537b560df991cbf8bf63bec6bd59e

Daneshar, 80, takes a break after receiving medical treatment at Ashapur.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/0b7537b560df991cbf8bf63bec6bd59eYan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Daneshar, 80, takes a break after receiving medical treatment at Ashapur.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/0a06e80f701fafeca9d57c6d102168fb

Daneshar suffers from a cataract in his right eye.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/0a06e80f701fafeca9d57c6d102168fbYan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Daneshar suffers from a cataract in his right eye.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/674f9dd04e498b414b57cfb3353d8423

After developing cataracts in both eyes, Baran Umarao became completely blind. This didn't prevent him from being a productive member of Ashapur. He has since passed away, but his morning routine was always to rise at 3am, brew tea for the residents and scrub the hallway in the living area.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/674f9dd04e498b414b57cfb3353d8423Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

After developing cataracts in both eyes, Baran Umarao became completely blind. This didn't prevent him from being a productive member of Ashapur. He has since passed away, but his morning routine was always to rise at 3am, brew tea for the residents and scrub the hallway in the living area.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/e859701f34a47c78d2cdf18968a13cc0

Lallan has lived at Ashapur for 25 years. He no longer has leprosy, but insists on staying at the colony. 'This is my family now,' he says.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/e859701f34a47c78d2cdf18968a13cc0Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Lallan has lived at Ashapur for 25 years. He no longer has leprosy, but insists on staying at the colony. 'This is my family now,' he says.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/9b9402a375475d925d5d927756decf0b

Gita, 55, and her daughter, both live in the Ashapur community.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/9b9402a375475d925d5d927756decf0bYan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Gita, 55, and her daughter, both live in the Ashapur community.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/3a18ec7fbf1959a68451b7b4f34ba815

Residents walk around the colony at the end of the day.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Leprosy_%27My_heart_lies_here%27/slideshow/no-caption/3a18ec7fbf1959a68451b7b4f34ba815Yan Seiler/Al Jazeera

Residents walk around the colony at the end of the day.



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