Deprived of a dignified and a rightful childhood, 3 years old Anjali lives on the street outside a train station in Mumbai with a younger sister and their parents. Both her father and mother are are infected with the HIV virus. Her father is also suffering from Tuberculosis. Though he is a skilled mason, his health does not permit him to take-up regular work and hence less food and at times starvation takes its toll on the entire family.
When IMCARES Care Workers found Anjali, they discovered that both she and her younger sister were suffering from scabies and had boils and rashes all over their bodies. The Care Workers counselled the parents and helped them get a dignified medical attention and medication from a nearby Government dispensary.
Skin and bones, HIV positive and with a TB lump on his neck, 15 years old Manish (name changed), was found by IMCARES staff on the steps of a well known holy shrine in South Mumbai. Manish and his elder brother were orphaned when their parents succumbed to AIDS.
IMCARES instantly got Manish enrolled in their Sanjeevani Drop-in-Center project. Further investigations revealed that Manish was terribly underweight and his hemoglobin count was extremely low. Fortunately he was already enrolled in the Government free Anti Retroiviral Treatment (ART) medication scheme. But unfortunately Manish was not adhering to his medication due to his weakness, lack of nutrition and monitoring. For the IMCARES staff, it was indeed a race against time.
“I never took Bhushan out of the house as he is a child with special needs. The neighbors in the slum where we live also taunted me for giving birth to a disabled child, who could not walk on his own, neither could fold his legs and sit. He could not speak clearly and could not control the saliva falling from his mouth. I used to sit with an handkerchief all day wiping his saliva. He couldn’t even eat with own hands so I had to feed him. Bhushan was totally dependent on me. I was worried for his future. What if something happens to me? How will he survive? Who will take care of him? I would constantly ask myself.
If NGO’s like IMCARES support families like us, nothing is impossible. I have a dream to see my Bhushan walk and live a normal life one day…”
After 12 abortions, my sister who is a sex worker, gave birth to a premature and a tiny baby. My sister abandoned this baby in the hospital. The police came looking for her and it was during that time that I took her custody. I call her Piyu.” Said Tina, Piyu’s aunt. Piyu, now 5 years old is immobile and cannot speak. “I will bring her here whenever you say for treatment.
I just hope that she walks and talks one day”, added Tina with a ray of hope in her voice.