In the Market for a Leper


A Leper’s Smile

"Leprosy." Eternal silence seemed to follow that single, dreaded word as it fell from the doctor's lips. Su Gui Zhong's heart began to race in panic as the diagnosis of an infected patch of skin registered. I'm a leper! Only 24 years old, she knew that her world was about to end. Before that awful moment, Su Gui had every reason to be optimistic about her future. She lived a simple but fulfilling life in rural China, happily married with three precious daughters. She and her husband had recently finished building a new house that had become their little home. Her community was tight-knit and supportive.

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Leper’s Child

Wearing a simple dress and an innocent smile, twelve-year-old Saraswati Etlapuram seems like any other carefree little girl who lives in Hyderabad, India. Below the surface, however, she ponders questions about injustices that she doesn't understand: "Why do people shun me? Why am I not permitted to attend school like other children? Is it true that I will never be married?" Although she is perfectly healthy, Saraswati is treated like a leper—because her parents have leprosy.

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The Forgotten People

Wang Shou formerly had hands and feet. But over the past 44 years, he's watched them slowly disappear due to leprosy. He isn't able to walk on the stubs that were once his feet, so he ties the soles of shoes to his knees and crawls everywhere he goes.

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