The Rebirth of Jowahar Ram Paswan

Photo: Mr. Jowhar Ram Paswan, a beneficiary of the Nav Jagrat Manav Samaj, an initiative started by TML for the leprosy patients

Mr. Jowahar Ram Paswan, a resident of Chaibasa, got the first traces of leprosy at the age of 15. At the time nobody paid much attention to the patch that had appeared on his right elbow and his health steadily deteriorated. Ill health reduced his concentration levels and he dropped out of school. On quitting school, Mr. Paswan tried to enroll himself in several vocational courses but could not complete any of them and he finally started earning a meager amount painting sign boards and banners. One day while working in direct sunlight, his face became unnaturally red and he was taken to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed to be suffering from advanced stage leprosy.However, due to lack of money, he could not complete his treatment. Circumstances deteriorated and Mr. Paswan moved to Jamshedpur where he found a job as an attendant at a guest house. However, when the superintendent of the guest house came to know of his disease, he was immediately dismissed. His neighbours in the place where he was staying also turned him out for they feared having a leper living amongst them.

With a sense of defeat and dejection, Mr. Paswan returned to Chaibasa and started trading in illicit liquor but it was against his will and he once again left for Jamshedpur in search for salvation. This time, on the advice of some acquaintances, Mr. Paswan visited Nav Jagrat Manav Samaj (NJMS), a Tata Motors supported society. At NJMS, he was given the job of painting and writing educational material for exhibitions and was being treated for leprosy as well. When NJMS started the Temporary Stay ward and Old Age Home for leprosy patients, Mr. Paswan was given the job of Caretaker. Thus, Mr. Paswan, now having a permanent job and a steady income, can well support his wife and his children who are receiving good education in Jamshedpur.

Mr. Paswan comments, “I am grateful to NJMS for changing my life and giving me an opportunity for serving the leprosy patients, who are uncared, unloved and untouched by most. I know for sure that had it not been for NJMS, I would be on the streets or would be languishing behind bars for indulging in illicit liquor trade.”

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