the project

history

It was November 21, 1981 when Brother Christdas came to Sunderpur and moved into a clay hut, laying the foundation stone for the Little Flower project. Some of his best friends came with him: leprosy patients themselves, comrades and assistants from the leprosy project in Titagarh, which the Indian priest and former monk of the Missionaries of Charity had led for many years.
Titagarh, the largest leprosy project in Mother Teresa’s holy order, is near Calcutta and was the only place leprosy patients in Bihar could go to get medicine and medical treatment.

Brother Christdas had heard of the hardship of the Biharis, who had to travel for many days to get help. This led him to the decision to establish a rehabilitation center for them in Bihar.

62% of all people in the world with leprosy live in India.

40% of them live in Bihar. This makes the situation in Bihar the worst in all of India. Only 38% of the population is literate; only 12% of women can read and write. The average annual income of the people in Bihar is INR 3,000 (€50).

With a population of 1 billion in India, that makes for 100 million people who live in Bihar. This was prior to its separation a few years ago. Today Bihar consists of 39 regions; Little Flower is located in East Champaran, which has 3.5 million inhabitants.
In the course of these 25 years the little flower has started to blossom, producing more and more petals, raising a new and healthy generation. For this generation leprosy is a part of its history and heritage. It no longer means hopelessness.

Of the 1,000 inhabitants of Little Flower:

  • 140 are inpatients at the hospital (in addition 30,000 outpatients come to the hospital for treatment once a month)
  • 150 children (110 boys and 40 girls) in the boarding school from the surrounding leprosy colonies
  • 700 village inhabitants, of whom 175 are children of school age
  • 50 people in the remote farming region of Dheng

There are about 2,000 more inhabitants in the surrounding leprosy colonies, who come to Little Flower for medical treatment or are admitted to the hospital if necessary and send their children to the boarding school in Sunderpur. Some of these people have looms and spinning wheels and sell their woven fabric and cotton and silk thread.

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