Advocacy & Communication in India
The Advocacy & Communication programme presents TLMTI’s work and the needs of people who have experienced leprosy and other NTDs. They do this to sustain the interest and commitment of the national government, donors and other stakeholders so that no one is left behind as India accelerates towards zero transmission, zero disability and zero discrimination.
Misinformation around leprosy creates negative perceptions of the disease. It also influences policy formulation. Hence, securing a humane and non-discriminatory society that creates an enabling environment for those who have experienced leprosy, other disabilities and live on the margins of the society, is at the core of our advocacy initiatives.
At TLMTI, advocacy is not just about dispelling myths and raising awareness through campaigns, but also about influencing and changing policies, attitudes and practices to ensure that people live a life free of neglect, stigma and discrimination.
TLMTI follows a holistic, rights-based and participatory approach towards advocacy. TLMTI's vision is an equitable society, where everyone has an opportunity to live with dignity and without discrimination. It recognises individuals as stakeholders and focuses on capacity building at all levels: local communities, duty bearers and policymakers.
Processes and platforms
TLMTI explores different processes and platforms to advocate for ending disease, disability and discrimination. Besides disseminating findings of in-house research on preventive and remedial aspects of leprosy, TLMTI also develops information, education and communication materials, including testimonials, films and documentaries.
A significant component of advocacy is engaging with the Central and state governments in India to create an enabling policy and legislative environment for people who have experienced leprosy, as well as raising awareness through media. TLMTI also contributes at various consultations and advocacy platforms for inclusion of people who had leprosy and other disabilities.
As a part of its effort to influence systems and structures at different levels, TLMTI strengthens its engagement with government representatives, disabled peoples' organisations, civil society organisations, think tanks, international organisations and academia.
The advocacy initiatives are centred around ensuring access to healthcare, education, livelihoods, and addressing related challenges. They also focus on repealing discriminatory laws and making disability assessment methodology more inclusive so that no one is left out of the ambit of social protection schemes. This programme facilitates capacity building for leprosy champions and local communities and promotes their participation at relevant forums so that they can advocate for their own cause.