Monthly Archives

September 2022

Jayraman & Madathesri

By Project Stories

Known and Loved More than Skin Deep.

Leprosy is no joke in India. Jayraman and Madathesri would know. Both have had leprosy for around 30 years. In India, leprosy is not just a disease. It’s viewed as a curse from the gods. The person infected with leprosy becomes the disease, not just a person battling it. There is intense prejudice and little care given to those with leprosy. They are left to live in isolation because no one wants to be around them. They are considered “untouchables” in society. They are neglected. Rejected. Ignored. Unwanted. Abandoned. Left to themselves with no help or treatment.

Because of the lack of care, Jayraman and Madathesri’s physical condition has only gotten worse. Jayraman has experienced a loss of vision, and his arms and hands are affected. Madathesri’s hands have been affected the most, and she can hardly use her fingers.

The two of them have been married for about eight years now, and have a beautiful and healthy son and daughter in elementary school, hoping to complete their education. But achieving this goal is difficult when there are requirements for school fees to be paid, and they don’t have enough money to do so.

Because of the neglect and stigma they face in society, no one wants to hire them. Even if someone did hire them, they couldn’t work because their leprosy has gotten so bad that their hands cannot complete tasks, at least with ease. They are dependent on money or donations from others for their needs or are forced to pull from their slim savings.

Right now, some of their greatest needs include food and surgeries to treat the effects of their leprosy. Through the help of The Hope Venture’s Medical Kit Project, Jayraman and Madathesri have received medical supplies, clothing, and groceries in the medical kits they were given. These items are simple, and while they might not completely cure their leprosy, it shows that they are cared for and provides assistance to them when nobody else will. Another big piece of giving care to them came from Martin, a volunteer for the Medical Kit Project.

One day, he saw Jayraman walking along the road outside. Martin ran out, his feet frantically trying to place themselves back under himself, picking up pace as he rushed to meet Jayraman. Martin’s cheeks were tight from the big smile lighting up his face. He gently placed his arm around Jayraman’s shoulders as he came to greet him. Martin was not afraid to touch Jayraman, to be in his presence. Both of the men’s faces were beaming as they talked, displaying an excitement of connection—just one of the many ways Jayraman has found belonging and community.

Jayraman and Madathesri have been able to experience a pocket of community where they are no longer the outcasts of society. They aren’t neglected—they are cared for. They aren’t rejected—they are cherished for the humans that they are. They aren’t unwanted—they are welcomed with open arms. They aren’t abandoned—they have people coming alongside them and around them to help them out.

It’s in moments like this that hope is so vibrant for them. To be known and accepted as they are in their medical condition is evidence of the love poured out for them. Some of the steps taken to help them have been small, but it’s in these small steps that they see the realness of the love and acceptance they are being embraced with.

To impact more people like Jayraman and Madathesri, donate to our Leprosy Care Project today!



By Project Stories

The adventure of persistent hope.

Madhaven is one of those guys that just seems to have new crazy stories about his life that get uncovered every time you interact with him. He will start telling a story about something that happened in his life and you can’t help but let your jaw drop. He has a lot of years under his belt at 75 years old, but at the same time, he is also one of the most youthful-spirited guys you’ll ever meet. He is persistent and driven, joyful and hopeful – determined to live life to the fullest with many adventures ensuing along the way.

One of his crazy adventures stems all the way back to his birth. Madhaven was born without his left arm from the elbow down. This was a journey that Madhaven didn’t choose to embark on. It has proved to be an obstacle throughout his life as he navigates embracing the  adaptability of completing daily tasks in creative ways due to his disability.

In his aging, other health problems have come up for Madhaven. He often gets pain in his neck that won’t go away. He also has to put in a lot of effort to take a full, deep breath – his lungs don’t have the capacity and strength that they once had. He battles chronic asthma and is often wheezing, begging his lungs to fill and deflate with ease. It has been bothering him for over two years. These health issues may be small, but it adds up for Madhaven, especially when he would prefer to be on the move, collecting and chopping firewood, taking care of his cattle, farm, and family.

Fortunately, Madhaven doesn’t let these health concerns get in his way of living his life to the fullest. Every week, Madhaven walks to the Jack Norman Hope Center in Masinagudi where he is able to get free healthcare and treatment provided by Dr. Sally and Dr. Babu. Madhaven says he would have died long ago if it weren’t for the great care he continually receives from Dr. Sally and Dr. Babu, who to Madhaven have become “mom and pop.” The bond and care built and received by Madhaven at the Jack Norman Center have been an adventure beyond his health – it touches his heart. 

Madhaven can delight in the clean and safe environment brought by the Jack Norman Hope Center where he repeatedly gets good care for his health. He can see a physical difference being made in his daily life as he is brought up to better health and takes joy in this change. He is given dignity as he gets his needs met at the facility.

Madhaven isn’t pain free. His life is still tough. But Madhaven only sees his difficulties as hurdles to leap over, continuing on the path beyond them. The Jack Norman Center is a springboard for Madhaven, helping him over his health obstacles. He is full of optimism, joy, and humor. Despite the hard things Madhaven is walking through, if you had a conversation with him, he would make you smile. He’d tell ya stories about his younger years, brag on his family – his four kids, his eight grandkids, or his beautiful wife who passed away four years ago. He’d crack some jokes, tell you about the hope he has found in Jesus, and make you feel so seen and known after concluding your conversation with a firm handshake, looking at you with his eyes sparkling, crinkled in a friendly squint from his persistent smile.