In terms of leprosy cases, India leads the world.
As of 2020, the numbers of new cases of leprosy in India were 65,147, accounting for 51.09% of the world's leprosy cases.
And there is another cause for concern: discrimination that targets leprosy patients, many of whom isolate themselves because of fear of passing on the disease to loved ones.
"When I had no leprosy, I used to swim in the river with my friends. We used to share soap. I used to visit my relatives and friends without hesitation. After I contracted leprosy, everything changed. I became lonely," a patient said.
Leprosy, or Hansen's disease, is a chronic (but curable) infectious disease caused by the slow-growing bacteria Mycobacterium leprae.