International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Acworth Leprosy Hospital and Museum


    Category Hospital/Research Institute
    Country India
    Address Acworth Leprosy Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400031, India
    Telephone +91 22 414759
    Fax +91 224140355


    Held in Acworth Leprosy Hospital are organisational records dating from 1890. Clinical records exist from 1950 to the present day.

    The Acworth Leprosy Museum was inaugurated on 5 February 2003 during Anti-Leprosy Week by Shri Eknath Gaikwad, Health Minister of Maharashtra State. The Museum is attached to the Acworth Municipal Leprosy Hospital, which was established in November 1890 as the “Homeless Leper Asylum”. The Institution was renamed the “Acworth Leper Asylum” in 1904, in appreciation of its founder Harry Arbuthnot Acworth, Municipal Commissioner of Bombay (1890-1895). The Museum has been set up to tell about important events, institutions and people in the leprosy saga dating from the nineteenth century, and has displays relating to:

    • The early history of the “Homeless Leper Asylum”
    • Therapeutic experiments of two nineteenth century Bombay doctors, Bhau Daji and Sakharam Arjun
    • Social and legal histories of leprosy
    • The deep interest of Mahatma Gandhi and his associate, Vinoba Bhave, in service to leprosy sufferers
    • Modern developments and the present outlook about this disease

    This Museum, which is housed in a former dormitory building used by the inmates of the Acworth Leprosy Hospital, has been started on a modest scale with a focus on Western India. The plan is to increase the displays relating to legal, social and treatment histories and enlarge the scope to include other parts of the country.

    Original photographs and documents have been reproduced, as far as possible in the display panels. A garden of medicinal plants that have traditionally been used in India for leprosy treatment has been also started, and will be expanded.

    The Museum is the joint project of the Acworth Municipal Hospital for Leprosy and the Acworth Leprosy Hospital Society for Research, Rehabilitation & Education in Leprosy, and has been made possible by donations from individuals, institutions, non-governmental service organisations and corporate bodies.

    Information supplied by Dr WS Bhatki

    Acworth Museum

    Entry updated 11 February 2003


    Name Dr Bhatki (Director)
    Organization Acworth Leprosy Hospital
    Address Acworth Leprosy Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400031, India.
    Telephone +91 22 41 47 59
    Fax +91 22 41 40 355

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