‘Samruddhi’, is an inclusive community based inclusive development program built on a multi sectoral approach piloted by AIFO India. The project is located in Harohalli less than 50 kms outside Bangalore. Despite its close proximity to the city, the target area faces numerous socioeconomic and healthcare challenges. Most pronounced is high levels of anemia among women, disability and leprosy related disabilities.Recognizing these challenges, AMICI Samruddhi, Focuses on empowering different groups of persons with disabilities including persons with disabilities due to leprosy. Recognizing the need for promotion of nutritional health among young girls, adolescents and women, this project will focus on enabling access to better quality primary health care services with a specific focus on nutrition.

With a view to keep the project sustainable, scalable and deepen impact, technology tools such as promotion of a community radio, mobile phone enabled data monitoring and reporting as well as usage of technology to spread awareness about healthcare and welfare entitlements.

This project adopts a multi partner approach and partners with organizations like SRMAB and AIFO Italy.

This intervention will reach out to thousands of people and play a key role in improving the deteriorating health care outcomes of Harohalli, leading to an overall improvement in the quality of life of the target region.The direct beneficiaries of this project include women and girls with anemia, Malnourished children, persons affected with leprosy, socio economically poor families, widows, single person, destitute, homeless families and persons with different disabilities.

Saving Life

INR 2000 is all it takes to bring life saving maternal and pediatric care to mothers and babies in remote Assam, North East India

INR 2000 is all it takes to bring life saving maternal and pediatric care to mothers and babies in remote Assam, North East India

AIFO operations under National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP)

Along with ILEP members support to Central Leprosy Division continued in partnership. The National Leprosy Eradication Programme had shown considerable progress, with challenges still at large specially towards underserved population coverage, and fighting Social Stigma and discrimination attached towards leprosy.

Leprosy situation in the AIFO operated States, Epidemiological Indicators (April 2012-March 2013)



New Cases



Prevalence Rate


MB Prop

Female Prop

Children Prop

Andhra Pradesh
















































West Bengal
















Comparing last years figures the Prevalance Rate 0.69/10,000 is now 0.73, New Cases registered 1,27,000 to 1,34,752 showing an increase in new case detection, Multi-bacillary case Proportion remaining at 49%, Female proportion remaining at 37.7% and Child cases almost the same to 9.9%, the coverage should improve

Deformity profile: Grade1=3.78% to 3.84%, Grade 2=3.14% to 3.45% which is a major concern.

Reconstructive Surgery









2012-2013 (March)




AIFO operations:

Periodical job tours are carried out by AIFO Coordinators / NLEP Consultants in the areas of operation. AIFO continued operations as ILEP/NLEP Coordinators in the States of Karnataka, North-eastern States – Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. LEPRA Society continued partnership operating in NE States, and we collaborate with our ILEP partners in the States of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa.

AIFO along with ILEP Partners operate under a MoU with the Central Leprosy Division, carrying out activities within the preview of the following areas supporting the General Health system to provide – an Integrated, Sustainable, Quality Leprosy services to all affected

1. Improved Case detection

2. Improved Case Management

3. Improved monitoring Supervision and Evaluation

4. Leprosy expertise developed and sustained

5. Increased participation of persons affected by leprosy in society

6. Stigma reduced

7. Research to support evidence based programming

8. Programme management ensured

Collaboration with WHO:

Three important documents of WHO – Global Leprosy Programme (GLP), were translated into Hindi

1. Enhanced Global Strategy for Further Reducing the Disease Burden due to Leprosy (Plan Period: 2011-2015)

2. I can do it myself Tips for people affected by leprosy who want to prevent disability

3. Enhanced Global Strategy for Further Reducing the Disease-Burden Due to Leprosy Operational Guidelines (Updated) (2011-2015)

Collaboration with States:

Andhra Pradesh, Orissa:

LEPRA Society coordinates the ILEP supportive programme, and AIFO continued its participation along with other ILEP members in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Dr. Michael Sugumar NLEP Consultant (AP), Dr.S.N.Pati NLEP Consultant (Orissa) are in charge of ILEP operations in these States.

Following the results of “Feasibility Study” carried out during the year 2012, further discussions where held with authorities of Kurnool Medical College – The Principal, The Professor and Head of the Department of Community Medicine. Areas identified are Leprosy Expertise development, Introduction of CBR and Communications modules for the Faculty, Post Graduate/Undergraduate Students and Internees, in coordination with the Kurnool District Leprosy Officer and our Partner NGO operating at Khollapur (Mehboob Nagar district). Dr. Giovanni Gazzoli, Mr.M.V.Jose participated in the deliberations – and once funds are available – Project implementation will be started.

Kurnool Medical College:

Parla PHC, under the control of Community Medicine Department established to facilitate learning opportunities for Medical Students – Feasibility Study had shown that there are adequate opportunities to develop the centre

Discussions with the different stakeholder groups

Based on the request from the Medical College Community Health department, AIFO organised one day stakeholders group discussions at Parla PHC, Kurnool district. AIFO CBR coordinator facilitated the discussions for different groups stakeholders (Panchayat representatives, college representatives, ASHA workers, ANMs, disabled SHG leaders, community leaders, and a small group of disabled persons), collected information to initiate Community Based Rehabilitation activities in Parla PHC.


Despite serious efforts to find suitable candidature for the post of NLEP Consultant for Karnataka it was not possible for placement, Dr.N.Manimozhi had to carry out additional responsibilities as interim Consultant. Following discussions at Cochin State Leprosy Officers review meetings, Pilot District Disability assessment initiatives among persons affected was initiated utilizing the resources from Sumanahalli NGO project at Chamraj nagar district. The exercise had given indications and recommendations to the State NLEP- Karnataka to further extend initiatives at other districts

Need based initiatives: The District Leprosy Officer expressed views that they have no experience in carrying out result based training programmes for their Medical Officers at Health facilities, and expressed the need for practical demonstration of a training programme. Following the request from the State and District AIFO organised a two-day’s training programme on Leprosy was carried out at Chamraj Nagar for Medical Officers (PHC), during which 22 Medical Officers attended. The programme concluded with further request form the participants and the DLO to have yet another training programme on Disability Prevention and Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR).

North East -Assam: AIFO Regional Office started.

Intensive focus in this region – AIFO had initiated its Regional office with one Regional NLEP Consultant, one State (Assam) consultant, One Programme Coordinator (Non-medical) one Physiotherapist (for RCS support) and one Data Entry Operator.

Speaking to you all with Concern and Greetings

Every year seems to pass away as fast as it can, and is always calling to improve strategies in providing better opportunities for all marginalised due to disabilities, stigma, discrimination, lack of access to health services due to various conditions, with special reference to Leprosy.
There seems to be an ever-ending issue questioning about “Social Responsibility” from each and every one to contribute, Health System alone will not suffice to address issues related to National Leprosy Eradication Programme. The programme is always improving while the problem gets altered demanding alternative and combined efforts. Voluntarism at the right time, right place for the right cause is in the priority, along with the most crucial issue of participation by the people for whom the whole operations are.
Keeping in view the above statements in our minds and agenda for the coming years, we would like to focus, communicate with the local communities, corporates to make them realise their social responsibilities and participate, to come out with results. Our teams, partners took all efforts to manage and rise to constraints – We have opportunities, and resources, however not adequate enough to reach the underserved population, struggling silently at large.
I wish to thank all our “Friends” in Italy those with immense profound affection and concern to Share – their love around the globe with all people suffering. Our Head Quarters at Bologna for their ability and expertise, supporting our operations, our partners, Programme Managers at Central Leprosy Division, State, WHO, National Forum, ALERT India, Novartis, ILEP colleagues – Each and everyone – and all our persons affected specially who gave us the opportunity to serve them. Last but not the least our dear Jayashree, with all grace and affection joining us in our endeavour to fight against, stigma, discrimination giving us a hope that her efforts supporting us will be a motivating factor for all those who think they are lost, to get back fighting the odds and enjoy meaningful life

Jose Manickathan

AIFO-Project Support.

How to Apply.
AIFO provides support to projects in developing countries, without any discrimination on the basis of color, race, religion, gender, etc. AIFO has no political or religious aims of any kind. In all the projects supported by it, AIFO emphasizes that special attention be given to reach weaker sections of society: the poorest families, ethnic minority groups, women and children.
AIFO has chosen to focus its activities in supporting leprosy affected persons and persons with disabilities through integrated development projects, with particular attention towards the poorest and vulnerable groups of persons, in a spirit of partnership.

When to present the request.

Because of financial difficulties, no new project requests are being accepted till further notice.

Who Can Receive Support From AIFO.
Governments, local administrations, NGOs, religious organizations of all denominations, organizations of disabled persons, grass-root organizations, etc., from developing countries, can ask AIFO for support exclusively for their project activities related to the three specific fields of activities (leprosy, Primary Health Care & Rehabilitation. Usually, projects related to vulnerable children are usually accepted only in areas, where AIFO is already supporting some other activities related to any of the three specific fields.
Possibly all requests related to leprosy and primary health care, presented to AIFO should follow National guidelines. When such requests are not in line with the National guidelines, the reasons for this must be clearly explained.
Often AIFO prefers to promotes complementary projects in the same geographical areas where it is already present, with different local partners like Governmental ministries and departments, local NGOs, grass roots organizations & missionaries, to increase the impact of its support and to promote that different needs of target populations can be answered in a multi-sectoral way. In the field and internationally, AIFO favors networking and coordination with international organizations to promote a more efficient utilization of the resources. AIFO has joint projects with many European organizations, especially with organizations which are members of ILEP, Circle of Solidarity Follereau-Damien and IDDC.
Usually AIFO does not provide support to requests coming from organizations based in developed countries (including their branch offices based in developing countries), even if their requests may be for their activities in developing countries.

What Kind Of Project Activities Can Receive Support From AIFO.

AIFO supports project activities in three main Areas:

Leprosy control and Primary Health Care.

Rehabilitation of persons with disability.

Development activities aimed at vulnerable children.

Generally speaking AIFO prefers to support activities which are based in the community, are sustainable and promote strengthening of local resources in finding local solutions to the problems. Projects consisting exclusively of specialized institutions are not supported by AIFO unless these are part of referral system of on-going community-based activities. In a new project, AIFO places lot of emphasis on starting and strengthening of community based activities and only when these activities are established, requests for strengthening of institutions are taken in to consideration.

Activities NOT supported by AIFO.
Requests from individuals for scholarships or grants, are not taken in to consideration by AIFO. In the same way, AIFO does not provide support for setting up of offices and for paying salaries, unless these are part of a whole project funded by AIFO. Even in the projects supported by AIFO, providing salaries and/or incentives for Governmental personnel is generally not taken in to consideration for reasons of sustainability. For projects managed by NGOs and missionaries, AIFO can provide limited amount of funds towards the costs of personnel. In such cases, AIFO accepts that the salaries provided be at the most similar to those provided by local/national Government in the project areas. The financial costs for salaries in a NGO/missionary managed project should not be more than 35% of the total project costs. Finally, isolated requests like providing a vehicle or buying of equipment are not taken in to consideration by AIFO.
When to present the request.

Regional offices of AIFO.
AIFO has three Regional Offices, in India, Mozambique and in Brazil. There are also Country Offices of AIFO in many countries like: Vietnam, Mongolia, Indonesia, Macao, Comore Islands, Mozambique, Angola, Ghana, etc. All new Project requests coming from India and Brazil must come to AIFO through the AIFO Regional offices.

At present, AIFO is supporting significant projects in the following countries: Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Egypt, Vietnam, Mongolia, Nepal, Indonesia, India, Liberia and Brazil. In some of these countries, AIFO is working with National Governments like in Indonesia, Mongolia, India, Brazil, Mozambique, etc. Requests from countries where AIFO is already active, receive priority for new project requests.


AIFO is an Italian non governmental organisation (NGO) with its headquarters in Bologna.AIFO provides support to projects in developing countries, without any discrimination on the basis of color, race, religion, gender etc. AIFO has no political or religious aims of any kind.


Leprosy is a disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. Leprosy is often also called Hansen’s disease after the person who discovered the bacterium. Leprosy mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, respiratory tract and the eyes. It can affect all ages and both sexes.

People affected by leprosy have been treated as outcasts for thousands of years. While the situation has improved with time, there is still widespread discrimination of people affected by leprosy especially those with visible impairments. These impairments, in interaction with an individual’s environment, can lead to difficulties with activities of daily living and social participation. Millions of people around the world today experience leprosy related disability and they are restricted to accessing rehabilitation from segregated programmes and services.

Leprosy can be a severely crippling disease. The social stigma attached to it, makes matters worse for the unfortunate patients. Our projects are aimed not only at providing medical treatment and information, but we go one step further and assist them in social integration and rehabilitation. Leprosy Elimination Programs are conducted in collaboration with the National Leprosy Eradication Program of the Government of India.

In the early seventies, AIFO began its work in India by supporting leprosy projects through German Leprosy Relief Association. In 1979, Dr. Ekambaram, an eminent leprologist was chosen to be the AIFO representative in India. His expertise and experience as the First State Leprosy Officer, Tamil Nadu helped lay the solid foundation for all the future activities of AIFO. In 1983, AIFO extended its support to National Leprosy Eradication Programme of the Government of India.

Nowadays the capacity of the project staff is considerably enhanced. Disabled Persons Organizations have been strengthened, they have involved in various levels bringing legal-human rights issues to the officials in many places for equal opportunities and justice. Improved participation of leprosy affected persons and their family members.

In the year 2008, projects supported by AIFO in India and Bangladesh were facilitated with a variety of interventions related to health, education, social, livelihood and empowerment. As a result, an aggregated total of 48752 persons with disabilities, including persons affected by leprosy have directly benefited. The projects also facilitated 2406 self help groups with a total membership of 39049 persons.


Ramesh, name changed with changed life.

It was a very busy out patient day some few years ago while working in reputed hospital a young man in dirty dress attended the department. On calling his name he enters the examination hall to undergo consultation ad was diagnosed as a case of leprosy with his Right foot disability (foot drop) unable to move, with a small plantar ulcer.  On further questioning he informed that he had been in consultation with the Neurology department in a medical college and had under gone treatment for it; however it ;was noticed the leprosy diagnosis was missed. On further discussion it was realised that Ramesh was a medical student of 3rd year doing his paramedical subjects.

He began to cry after he disclosed his condition and said that he was dejected in his life while this would be his last attempt seeking treatment. If things do not improve he said that he would end his life.

It took some time to make him realise the problem. He was positive in his attitude, all happened due to proper communication process, there were some instructions to follow and some issues for his to realize and follow. It was a challenge – at the end he said that he would like to be challenged but not challenge availed all the guidance and support.  He went back to concentrate in to his studies successfully completed and is now working in the US with  no marks left over of his past. It is all being Positive………..