The Baba Christo Das Leprosy Colony was established in Bihar, India, many years ago. It gradually fell into disrepair in the absence of regular maintenance work. Leaking roofs, cracked walls, lack of proper drainage and difficult-to-use toilets made life miserable for residents.
Bihar Kustha Kalayan Mahasangha (BKKM), an organization of people affected by leprosy, drew up an initial budget estimate for renovating the colony. Subsequently, it enlisted the help of Vanvasi Seva Kendra (VSK), a voluntary organization involved in developmental activities. VSK commissioned a survey by a civil engineer. Based on his findings, VSK drew up a revised budget, which it submitted with a funding proposal to SMHF in Japan. SMHF arranged for the necessary monies to be contributed by a motor boat racing charity in Japan.
Renovation work began in October 2010 under the technical supervision of a civil engineer and with the participation of colony residents. Work was completed in January 2011 and the results go beyond comfortable, hygienic accommodation and better drainage.
Thanks to this project, the local Lions Club started a primary school within the colony and a retired medical doctor now visits regularly to provide free check-ups. Residents have formed a self-help group and the local community has been inspired to collect donations for the colony's maintenance and to support the livelihood activities of its residents.