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Remove legal clauses 'discriminatory' to leprosy-affected:

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

rights activist Javed today called for the removal of sections in various laws, including the personal laws, which he claimed were "discriminatory" to people suffering from

He was speaking here at the '13th Global Appeal' that seeks to end the stigma against people affected by the disease.

The clauses of various obsolete acts that discriminate against people with should be declared as unconstitutional, a statement quoted as saying.

Even in the personal laws, there are sections which "provide for virulent form of as a ground for divorce, separation or annulment of marriage," the of NGO, the Disabled People's International (DPI), claimed.

At the event a video message by Antonio Guterres, of the United Nations, was also played.

"Leprosy is an age-old disease which has maimed and isolated many. Millions have been cured. The stigma is harmful, because if you keep leprosy hidden, you do not get access to care. We need to step up efforts, and work to ensure universal coverage," he said.

There are 22 leprosy-endemic countries where the prevalence rate is more than 1,000 cases per year, the organisers said.

Pem Namgyal, for WHO, South East Asia, read out the message of WHO for Poonam Khetarpal Singh.

"We need social and legal dignity for people with leprosy. Multi-drug therapy is known to cure leprosy, but the prejudice against them is abetted by state and workers.

"Nine per cent of those affected by leprosy worldwide are children, which means that leprosy is still being transmitted, and cases going undetected and untreated," she said in her message.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 30 2018. 20:15 IST