AIDS comes with a baggage of social discrimination. Not only does the patient have to live in guilt and neglect as they are denied proper treatment and care, but even their families have to suffer the scourge of AIDS. For AIDS patients most often leave behind a family that is in no position to fend for itself economically or emotionally.
Probably the worst affected are children, as AIDS is taking its toll on not just the male member, but also his wife who gets infected by the husband.
The result? “Orphans” says Father Felix, Director, Sarva Seva Sangh. AIDS Support Group with no one to care for such orphans, Sarva Seva Sangh has undertaken the task of providing shelter to them.
Says Felix, “Since we do not want to label them as children of HIV positive parents, as that too can have severe repercussions on them, we put them in various hostels in the city. Even their classmates are unaware of their family’s HIV status, so that these children can get some chance of living a normal life”.
It is not necessary that a child be an orphan to avail of this service. Says Felix, “Even if one parent is HIV positive, we take the child in, because often when the father falls ill, the family income is reduced to nil. Besides, it becomes very hard for children to live with the stigma of HIV”.
Sunday, Feb 19th
Last update:05:44:44 AM IST