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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 199-200

Identity to leprosy-affected patients: Aadhar success story


Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Date of Submission21-Nov-2020
Date of Decision20-Jan-2021
Date of Acceptance01-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication04-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Vartika Saxena
Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JME.JME_189_20

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How to cite this article:
Saxena V. Identity to leprosy-affected patients: Aadhar success story. J Med Evid 2021;2:199-200

How to cite this URL:
Saxena V. Identity to leprosy-affected patients: Aadhar success story. J Med Evid [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Sep 25];2:199-200. Available from: http://www.journaljme.org/text.asp?2021/2/2/199/324975



This is an interesting story reported by Dr. Dikshit Kapil, who was a 3rd-year student in 2016 when the following incident happened. I am sure readers will enjoy the following narration by him – Identity to Leprosy-Affected Patients: Adhar success Story.

'It was the summer of the year 2016 when I moved from my 3rd semester to the challenging part of our 4th semester. Each day of clinical posting was no less than a challenge when I tried my best to take a history from the patient and walked during patient rounds discussing differential diagnosis based on whatever little clinical acumen I had with my seniors and resident doctors. In the midst of all that was going on, one evening I received a call from one of my seniors Mansi Sharma whom I had casually met at the library a few days ago. She was doing a Short Term Studentship Project under the Indian Council of Medical Research in the Department of Community and Family Medicine under the guidance of Professor (Dr.) Vartika Saxena regarding the health status of leprosy-affected patients (LAPs) and wanted my help for the collection of data at a Leprosy Rehabilitation Colony at Shivpuri. The next day on a bright Sunday morning, we were briefed about the data collection procedures and started our journey to Brahmpuri. Far away from hustle and bustle of the town stood this small yet beautiful colony that could boast of lush green hills on one side and the Holy Ganges on the other. The colony was quite old and was inhabited by LAPs and their families, some of the families had been living there for more than a quarter of a century. After the initial introduction and taking informed consent, we have started data collection as per the pre-decided plan. During my interaction, I have come to know that even after facing so many hardships because of amputated limbs, unhealthy wounds and no accessibility to medications and other basic amenities, their view towards life was exemplary and motivating. One quite peculiar observation that caught my eye was the fact that a lot of these patients did not have an AADHAAR card. Initially, I thought it was just an individual problem that I had randomly stumbled upon but I was quite shocked when I found that most of them were not having AADHAAR cards and were not able to avail themselves of some of the most basic facilities such as the LPG gas cylinder subsidy. When we enquired the reason for it, we found that most of these patients had been turned down by the UIDAI Authorities because a lot of them had finger amputation which made the recording of fingerprints difficult while some of them had diffuse corneal opacities making retinal scans almost impossible. After knowing this, we came back to our hostel with heavy hearts. This thought of denial of a basic right had gripped my mind but still, the solution was not anywhere close to the horizon. I surfed my way through the multiple websites, I came across a forum that seemed like a ray of hope in despair-Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System. This was a grievance redressal system that was designed by the Prime Minister's Office. Finally, I drafted a complaint and registered it on 9 July 2016 vide Registration number PMOPG/E/2016/0241939. I was quite surprised when approximately 10 days later, I received a call from an official from the PMO to know details about the issue. After that, I again got busy in my clinics and studies and forgot it. After some 15–20 days, I called up the head of the rehabilitation colony in some other matter and to my surprise, they told me that a UIDAI camp was set up in their colony especially for LAPs and all the AADHAAR cards were made without any hassle [Figure 1]. This news made me cheerful and all my hopelessness regarding the way our government departments' work had vanished away. This was my first experience working with a government department and it turned out to be an extremely rewarding experience. This was after a long time I experienced a sense of gratitude, accomplishment and a deepening calm, all at the same time.
Figure 1: Leprosy-affected patients (LAPs) showing their Aadhar card

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I hope this narration will inspire many more students to work for the larger good of needy countrymen.

Thanking you,

Kind regards,

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.




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