In a striking and emotional moment, Abhishek Bachchan, who has been named the first END7 Campaign Ambassador in India by The Global Network for Neglected Tropical, poured water over the feet of an elderly man suffering from lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), a debilitating and disfiguring neglected tropical disease, at the Banamalipur Resource Centre run by Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA)
just outside of Bhubaneswar, Orissa has one of the highest burdens of NTDs in the country. Abhishek met with women and men suffering from lymphatic filariasis. These patients shared heartbreaking stories with him, including how the stigma and shame associated with the disease’s massive swelling prevented them or their children from marrying, securing employment and socializing freely within their own communities. He also witnessed first-hand various disease management and disability prevention techniques, including washing, drying, exercise, massage, and elevation of the limbs, to alleviate some of the suffering.