SC seeks plan to eradicate leprosy

SC seeks plan to eradicate leprosy

News:

  1. Recently, the Supreme Court gave directions to the government for eradicating leprosy.

Important facts:

2. The apex court gave the following directions to the government :

  • Chief Justice says it the duty of the state to erase the stigma against leprosy.
  • The government need to constitute a separate wing to create public awareness that leprosy is curable and not contagious.
  • The court said the “primary duty of the state to erase the stigma against those suffering from leprosy and nudge them back into the mainstream.”
  • The court ordered All India Ratio and Doordarshan to air programmes nationally as well as regionally in States.
  • Afflicted persons could not be exposed to stigma which denuded them of basic human dignity.
  • Persons suffering from leprosy deserved the empathy from authorities as well as the society at large.
  • The court said that deserved to be treated with equality.
  • Previously, the court had asked the Centre and the States to remove references to leprosy as a disability from statute books because written laws amounted to “statutory stigma”.

3. The Centre is taking steps to eradicate leprosy. So far following steps has been taken :

  • The court directed the government to spread the awareness campaign up to the ‘gram panchayat’ level. It would help in eradicating the disease and ending discrimination against sufferers.
  • Steps were being taken to repeal legal provisions in laws which discriminated against leprosy patients.
  • The government is taking steps to delete the provisions from number of enactments which cast stigma on the persons.
  • The court referred to the 256th Law Commission’s report and said the recommendation on repealing discriminatory legal provisions had not been acted upon by the Centre and States.
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