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Rudi and Iet Stein - TLM Heroes

A black and white photo of a young, smartly dressed Dutch couple wearing glasses

Rudi Stein established the shoe shop and the artificial limb centre at Purulia Hospital, India. As was the way for married couples, he and his wife Iet were recruited together – after receiving a note from Eddie Askew asking them to London for an interview.

Though hugely beneficial for some patients, the bespoke shoes that staff were making for patients in India weren’t enough for people with amputations. So Rudi’s work involved training people to make artificial limbs.

Rudi and Iet were totally immersed in the work and committed to the surrounding communities. There was a bigger village just outside the boundary where a lot of former patients lived and scraped a living by begging. The Mission would give them jobs, but Rudi and Iet were determined to help people substantially when they could. They raised money to send children to boarding school – where they would be accepted away from the stigma that followed leprosy-affected families. Conditions were tough in the village, but Rudi was determined to get to a point where he could stay overnight there with one of the families they’d had over for dinner. Eventually doing so just before they left.

After 12 years, with the artificial limb centre established and others trained up to work there, Rudi and Iet returned to The Netherlands with their three children, remaining strong supporters of The Mission.