In 1959, members of the 'Friends of Emmaus Bern’ found the National Committee for the Lepers. The organization begins its fight against leprosy in Cameroon, India and Tanganyika (now Tanzania). By 1964, the organization supports 60 leprosy stations in 28 countries, now as an independent body under the name Leprosy Relief.

The organization constructs more leprosy stations, which are staffed with its own doctors, nurses and therapists. The first edition of the newsletter appears in 1965; today, it is published quarterly under the name FAIRMED.

One year later, Leprosy Relief founds the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP). In 1976, Leprosy Relief constructs a leprosy hospital in Hubli, India, In 1980, the organization opens the Regional Office for Equatorial Africa in the Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé. An effective combination therapy of different antibiotics that can cure leprosy is introduced in 1984.

In 1991, the 44th Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) approves the elimination of leprosy as a widespread disease by the year 2000. At the turn of the millennium, Leprosy Relief changes its official name to ‘Leprosy Relief Emmaus Switzerland’. Just one year later, the first Buruli ulcer project is launched in Cameroon. In the years that follow, Leprosy Relief increasingly directs its focus towards combating a range of poverty-related diseases.

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 2009, Leprosy Relief changes its name to FAIRMED. The organization continues to grow.

Milestones from 1950 till today


Mid of this year, a French priest named Abbe Pierre was shocked to know that people froze to death due to the cold wave in Paris. Through a local radio talk show he sensitized people to care for the homeless and later went on to form the Emmaus movement.


Fr. Abbe Pierre travelled to Switzerland to meet like-minded people where Mr. Marcel Farine was influenced by Fr. Pierre's philosophy. Mr. Farine raised financial resources in Switzerland to serve 'people in need', which later also included rehabilitating people affected with Leprosy.


Swiss Emmaus' first support in India, where a ward was established in the Orthopaedics Department of CMC Vellore to rehabilitate people affected with Leprosy who had undergone reconstructive surgery.


The first institutional support for Leprosy control work was provided to the St. Thomas Hospitaland Leprosy Center, Chetput, Tamil Nadu.


The support was provided to St. Joseph's Leprosy Hospital in Mangalore.


Mr. William Gershon was inducted as the first Regional Secretary of Swiss Emmaus India.


Established Hubli Hospital for the Handicapped (HHH), Hubli, Karnataka.


The Regional Secretariat in Chennai assumed responsibility for Swiss Emmaus India.


Initiated the first rural project in Swiss Emmaus Referral Hospital-Palamaner, Andhra Pradesh (AP).


Started projects in Karnataka and Orissa.


The Regional Secretariat in Chennai also expanded its scope to cover Leprosy control activities in Sri Lanka.


Multiple Drug Therapy was piloted for the first time in India at Wardha.


Established rural project GRETNALTES, Tenali, Andhra Pradesh.

A community welfare organization ECOMWEL was started in TamilNadu.


Established Rural India Self Development Trust (RISDT), Rajahmundry, AP.


Mr. Jeyaraj Devadas took over as the Regional Secretary from Mr.William Gershon.

Dr. Lobo assumed responsibility as the Medical Advisor in the Regional Secretariat, Chennai.


The Indian Leprosy Foundation was established to raised local funds for Leprosy control activities.

Training centers were established within projects.


Housing loans were provided to the people affected by Leprosy by the Rehabilitation Fund.


The Regional Secretariat initiated the Coimbatore Urban Leprosy Eradication Scheme (CULES), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.


SEI formed ILEP India in collaboration with other ILEP members in India.

Urban Leprosy control projects were initiated in Vijayawada and Hyderabad, AP.


Swiss Emmaus initiated TB control activities through its projects.


DISPEL project was started in 2 districts of AP.


TST's were established in AP, West Bengal (WB), and Karnataka.


Integration of Leprosy services changed the project landscape for Swiss Emmaus in India.

TST was established in Orissa.


Assumed ILEP state coordination of Goa and NE states.


Change in leadership from Mr. Devadas to Mr. John Kurian George.

ATCOM was established in Mumbai.

TB slum projects were started in Mumbai and Goa.


Name change from SEI to FAIRMED (HQ)

Mr. Rene Staeheli was elected as the President of the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP).

Swiss Emmaus Relief Work India was elected as a member of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of the Global Fund in India.

Swiss Emmaus Relief Work India was inducted as a National TB Consortium (NTC) member.


Swiss Emmaus Relief Work India Central Office shifted from Chennai to Gurgaon, Haryana.

Pilot POID project was designed and implemented in Guntur & East Godavari districts, Andhra Pradesh.


Designed and implemented the hospital information system (HIS).


Benchmarking exercise to evolve cost for 11 tertiary care services supported by SEI India.


National PoD (prevention of disability) Consultation led by FM India at the Indian Habitat Center.

Designed & implemented the comprehensive district leprosy control program (CDLCP) in Guntur & East Godavari districts, Andhra Pradesh.

Designed & implemented the tablet information system (TIS).

Designed & implemented the Maharashtra POID projects in Dhule & Jalgaon Districts.


Evaluation of MH-POID project (phase-1) & dissemination of the evaluation findings along with planning or phase-2 of the same project.


Copyright of TIS

NitiAayog’s DARPAN NGO registration done: TN/2017/0174763.

FAIRMED (FM) India registered as a trust.

Evaluation of the CDLCP project 7 dissemination of it’s findings in East Godavari.

FM India was the ILEP India Coordinator.


Evaluation of the MH-POID project (phase-2).


Registered under the Ministry of Home Affairs for CSR Activities vide Reg. No. CSR00003001.

Registered with Government of India under new FCRA act vide reg.no. 075900321.