Touchable - Dastagears Tale
Touchable Dastagears Tale
Hyderabad, Indien, 2015
The life of 21-year old Dastagear changed dramatically after a leprosy infection. The oldest documented
disease in human history is nowadays curable - nevertheless it severely damaged Dastagears body. Only his
mother knows about his illness, stigmatisation and superstition are still common in India: People get rejected
by their families, cannot find a job and can’t marry anymore. Often they are forced to move into a leprosycolony
or end as beggars on the street. When Dastagear goes to the hospital for his long medical treatments
he even keeps it a secret from his fiancé. He is too afraid of her rejection.
According to the WHO, each year an estimated amount of 230.000 people are diagnosed with leprosy
worldwide; the majority of 135.000 in India alone. In recent years scientists observed an increasing number
of new infections, especially among youth.