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Jakarta Post

Yohei Sasakawa: A modern-day Gandhi

Jakarta   /   Sun, June 21 2009   /  01:14 pm

Heroes come and go in their own times. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa and a handful of other humanitarian heroes played their parts helping social outcasts, as well as those who were disowned or discriminated against, in some of the most difficult conditions the world has to offer. In these modern times, a new hero has emerged named Yohei Sasakawa, following in the footsteps these former greats. Inspired by his father Ryoichi Sasakawa when he was 26, the young Sasakawa found a cause to fight for - the elimination of leprosy. Sasakawa's father took him to South Korea where he built a leprosy hospital to cure his patients. Sasakawa, already a businessman at the time, was taken to meet leprosy patients too. "Then I realized this was the work I must do with my father," he says. "I was terribly shocked to see them *leprosy patients*," adds Sasakawa, ...