12 November 2011
By Syed Intishab Ali
HIV positive children in the city now have “godfathers” in renowned Indian painters and photographers who have decided to help them after the recent news about their eviction from a rented house in Hanuman Nagar here.
The renowned artistes, including photojournalist and Padma Shri winner Raghu Rai, have decided to help these children by raising around Rs 2 crore through auction of their work. Rai and noted painter Bikash Poddar have already sent two of their popular works for auction.
In Jaipur, the 19 HIV positive children are living in a rented accommodation from they were evicted. TOI published stories about how these HIV positive children in Hamuman Nagar were asked to vacate a rented house by the landlord due to pressure of the neighours and society of the residential complex. The following day, district collector Navin Mahajan took a serious note on it and constituted a team of officials of the district administration and medical, health and family welfare department to counsel the neighbours. After the counselling, the landlord took back the children.
The artistes who have decided to help the children are Raghu Rai, Ashish Poddar, Jatin Das, Himmat Shah, Manu Pareek, Anoop Kamath, Bikash Poddar, Ashit Paul, Ritu Kamat and Sanjay Bhattacharya.
“After reading the stories published in TOI, Raghu Rai came to know about our condition. The artistes always have a sensitive heart. They thought about us and it is their kind gesture that they have decided to donate their valuable works so that we could buy a house,” Brijesh Dubey, president of the Rajasthan Network For People Living With HIV/AIDS (RNP+) said. Moreover, filmmaker Noel Mac Pereira has decided to make a film on the life of HIV positive children.
Pereira is also coordinating the entire campaign for the art work auction and he has decided to organise an exhibition in Jaipur of the donated works of the artistes and the entire funds generated would be spent on buying a house for the HIV positive children in Jaipur. Pereira said, “It is not just about providing relief to 19 HIV positive children but we want to buy a house so that they will have a place. I am just putting things together here and came to Jaipur from Delhi today for this purpose only.”
Pereira also showed two photographs donated by Raghu Rai. He said, “Through the exhibition that would be able to generate around Rs2 crore. We will give the money to RNP+ president Dubey.” The exhibition would be held on December 10.
Photographs and paintings to be auctioned on December 10 to raise funds for a HIV+ children’s home. (Left) A scanned TOI page which reported the HIV+ kids’ plight