The centre was started on 4th November,
1916 at the present premises, by a Belgian Priest Rev.Fr.Jean Michotte,
with the funds received from generous benefactors to accommodate, feed
and render medical care for the leprosy patients abandoned by the community.
To start with there were 5 patients and to take care of them there were
two catechist sisters.
Government of India recognized this centre as
Charitable Institution in 1917 and also sanctioned grant since 1922.
The centre had its first medical officer in 1929-30
and out-patient clinic was started around the same time. Strength
of the inmates steadily increased to 200 by 1933.
A Special Middle School was started for educating
leprosy affected children and children of the leprosy affected patients.
Recognition of the school by the Government was obtained in 1948.
In 1958, under National Leprosy Eradication Programme,
Leprosy Control work was started in 3 taluks of Thanjavur District.
In 1967, this centre underwent many changes.
ILEP ORGANISATIONS, through Emmaus-Swiss started funding the centre.
Rev.Mother Anne and Dr.Zwicky converted this centre into a hospital with
all basic facilities for the treatment of leprosy. Strength of inmates
rose to 650.
Reconstructive surgery, one of the important facilities
needed for correcting deformities in the leprosy affected people, was started
in 1968, initially with visiting surgeons and subsequently with its own
New blocks for wards were constructed in 1971-72
and the strength of inmates rose to 1000 by then.
The need for socio-economic rehabilitation for
the leprosy affected and cured was felt and Social Welfare and Rehabilitation
work was started in 1972.
Health Education Programmes were conducted in
the surrounding villages which in due course achieved change of public
mentality towards the disease and those affected by it.
In 1976 Diamond Jubilee was celebrated and to
add more facilities to those who can afford, Emmaus Block with special
wards and Diamond Jubilee Block were opened. Rehabilitation Block
and Isolation Wards were also constructed subsequently.
Many leprosy cured people were appointed as staff
to fulfill the demands of the expanding institution.
This institution was among the first to introduce
Multi-Drug Therapy for leprosy in 1982.
New Out-Patient department block was constructed
SHLC celebrated its Platinum Jubilee in 1991.
Houses were constructed and given to 75 rehabilitated patients to
commemorate the jubilee.
Diocesan Centenary Block for housing Administration
wing was added in 1999.