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Report No. 256

(ii) Land Rights

7.10.3 As has been noted previously, the long-standing practice of moving Persons affected by Leprosy and their family members from mainstream society into clusters near hospitals needs to be curbed. These clusters have come to be known as Leprosy colonies, and are usually established outside the city limits.

This practice reinforces segregation and deprives the Persons affected by Leprosy and their family members from owning or possessing property. These colonies are either established on government land including forest and railway lands or private land given for the purpose of establishing such colonies by private individuals or institutions.137

137. Data provided by TLMTI (n 88).

7.10.4 As noted previously, there are at present about 850 colonies in India.138 It has also been estimated that no new Leprosy colonies have come up in the last 14 years, although people diagnosed with the disease continue to migrate to existing colonies.139 Further, people who have been living in the colonies for years together wish to continue residing there with their families including children.

However, in spite of their continued residence in these colonies, many Persons affected by Leprosy and their family members still do not have any land rights and live under the constant threat of eviction.140 The lack of ownership and title to land also discourages Persons affected by Leprosy and their family members from developing the colony.

138. Data provided by TLMTI (n 88).

139. Data provided by TLMTI (n 88).

140. Data provided by TLMTI (n 88).

7.10.5 The Law Commission recommends that to tackle these issues of land rights, the proposed legislation should (a) take measures to legalise title and ownership of property in Leprosy colonies; and (b) in case, land rights cannot be given, explore alternative settlement options with the consent of the Persons affected by Leprosy and their family members.



Eliminating Discrimination against Persons affected by Leprosy Back




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