Talk sparks surgery aid in India

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MORE than 100 patients living in poverty in India have received life-changing surgery after a heartfelt speech by a North East charity worker.

Area coordinator for the Leprosy Mission in the North East John Roughley gave a talk on the charity’s transforming work with people affected by the disease to the Rotary Club of Durham in August 2011.

This spurred its members to begin fund-raising to help those pushed to the fringes of society by leprosy.

Durham members initially raised £3,500 by carrying out fund-raising activities 
including collecting parking money from Durham University’s car park on a Saturday morning.

The money raised was matched by Rotary International District 1030 in the North East which incorporates 68 clubs stretching from North Yorkshire to Berwick.

Donations also came from other international Rotary clubs. Further grants brought the total to £22,000.

The 113 life-changing operations are being carried out at the Leprosy Mission’s Premananda Memorial Leprosy Mission Hospital in Kolkata.