More than 500 people protested against the Karnataka government’s decision to take back most of the land of an archdiocese-run leprosy center in Bangalore.
The demonstrators, most of them leprosy and HIV patients, gathered at the Town Hall in the city yesterday to register their protest.
The government had on Sept. 21 decided to take back 43 acres of the Sumanahalli Society, leaving it only with five acres.
Fr. George Kannanthanam, the director of the society, said it was impossible to contain the activities of the campus to five acres where more than 400 people live.
The society campus has about 50 buildings to cater to the medical, educational and rehabilitation needs of the patients and have spent more than 250 million to build up such facilities.
Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore, who was also present at the protest, said that the Christian community which responded to the invitation from the Government in 1977 to take care of leprosy affected people has been betrayed.
Various non-government organizations and congregations also took part in the protest.
The institution began in 1978. It is engaged in all aspects of leprosy work including diagnosis, public awareness building and treatment.
Its programs include assistance for Hansenites with housing, marriage, self-employment and finding employment with government and private agencies. It also helps in the education of their children.