Swansea Parish, especially the Mothers’ Union, supports the Leprosy Hospital at Naini in India, through knitting cotton bandages for the patients. We first heard of this project through Windale MU members who have been involved for some time.

Nick and Heather Smith from East Maitland gave a most interesting and informative talk, supplemented by a powerpoint presentation, about the Leprosy bandages project for The Leprosy Mission Hospital at Naini, Allahabad plus a short video from the Leprosy Mission, Australia, at the May meeting of Swansea MU.

Factual information was interspersed with stories of their life in India, their faith, and involvement with a Children’s Home which they support and have taught at and the TLM Hospital at Naini in the north-west of India. A large hospital run by Christians, it demonstrates the love of Jesus in a practical way, in an area where Christians comprise 5%, Hindus 75%, and Muslims 20% of the population. As well as long-term residential treatment and a range of surgery and rehabilitation, there is a large outpatients’ department, provision for long-term accommodation, outreach into surrounding villages and it is a teaching hospital.

The Smiths encourage people to knit colourful cotton bandages which can be sterilised and re-used. These are greatly appreciated by staff and patients. Currently they send two 20kg packs, each containing 550 bandages, to Naini a year. Our group was able to present them with 131 bandages knitted by our members and friends! A pattern is available for this very simple item. Shirley Larven buys the pure cotton from a mill in Bendigo.


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