Sudarshan Hanumappa founded Karuna Trust in 1986 in response to the alarming incidences of leprosy in the Yelandur Taluk of Karnataka. He worked with his team to control the disease and successfully brought down the incidence of leprosy from 21.4 per 1,000 people to less than 0.28 and evenutally eliminating it. For the next three decades, he worked to create healthcare access to some of the most remote, tribal regions in India. His mission is to "reaching the healthcare to the unreached." Sudarshan is the recipient of Right to Livelihood Award (1994) by the Right to Livelihood Foundation in Sweden and the Padma Shri (2000), the fourth highest civilian award in India.