Christ Church 88 years ago

(Christ Church contributed towards to a new building at the Leprosy Clinic in Purulia, near Kolkata (Calcutta). The hospital is still there today)

Letter from Rev E. B. Sharpe, Purulia Leper Hospital

I am glad to say the Babies building is now complete, and will be occupied by the little ones and their “ Didima ” (big elder sister) by the time this letter reaches you.

All the windows are from Crittalls, of Braintree, Essex, and most of the steel beams and galvanised sheeting in the main roof is also English. The insect-proof beds were specially made in Calcutta. The little building consists of a veranda along the entire West front and most of the South.

Inside is a big long dormitory and day room for the tinies, 17 x 54, and behind that a small kitchen opening out of a vestibule with bathroom next door, and the Didima’s room next to that. Just the one big room in front and three small rooms and recess behind.

This year has been a difficult one for the babies. We have had constant illness in the girls’ home, enteric, measles, chicken pox, whooping cough and malaria, and the hot weather was the worst for ten years, 118° two days, 117° another, and over 100° (all shade temperature) for two months on end, without a break. However, a family of ten tiny tots will begin the life of your nursery, and can look forward to next hot weather better housed to meet the fierce heat.

On the outside are the words, “ Infants Home 1931,” and on the wall of the main veranda are the words in English, “ This building was the gift of some ladies of Dublin and Stone, Stafford.” For the third year in succession we are giving the latest curative treatment to over a thousand leper men, women and children weekly, and the number of those, free of all signs, has gone up to 177.

Last month a case, discharged in 1925, came back for re-examination. There was no trace of the disease. But your greatest joy is to see the change the Lord Jesus makes in them. Not even a November fog could stand before their smiles.

A more up to date picture of the hospital.