Dhanbad , Jan 15 (ANI): The leprosy-affected people of Gandhigram colony of Dhanbad district in Jharkhand are being given assistance through various schemes launched by the Central Government.
Gandhigram, located between Bokaroy and Dhanbad, is a colony especially built for people living with leprosy.
Earlier, the colony lacked basic amenities like safe drinking water, electricity and proper roads. People were staying in dilapidated huts.
"Earlier we had a lot of problem. There was no proper drinking water and other basic things. But ever since the government has started paying attention towards us, we have got water, electricity and everything else. Earlier we used to stay in huts." said Gaffar Ansari, a leprosy patient and a resident of Gandhigram.
Schools have also been built under the Anganwadi programme that caters to children in the 0-6 age group.
"Now good people come and visit us and they even get food and clothes for us. The myth about the disease is slowly dying down and if it continues like this then it would be very good for us." said Akalu Banri, another leprosy patient.
Ajay Kumar Singh, District Collector of Dhanbad said that the people of Gandhigram are also given a monthly pension of rupees 400 under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme.
"For leprosy affected people living in Gandhigram, we have provided houses, and at the same time, we have even set up schools for their children. We even give them a monthly pension of rupees 400 and recently we even provided them with a Red Card under which each person will get 35 kilograms of rice in a month." said Singh.
The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2007, provides a monthly pension to people over 65 years and living below the poverty line. (ANI)