It all started in 2000 when Mr. Ayika Raju was working as a paramedical officer in the leprosy department. Leprosy had been eradicated worldwide, thanks to multi drug therapy and subsequently, the paramedical officers were instructed to work on HIV/AIDS cases. During the course of his employment, he saw 4 kids left to the uncaring world as their parents were not alive to take care of them. Due to lack of awareness, society treated those kids as lesser than animals and isolated them. He came across instances where several kids were treated as untouchables and one of those kids was served food packet with a stick, because of the misconception of untouchability. This child was left with a dismal living condition (only 20 feet space to stay) and people were not even bothered about his health and mental status. In spite of the many repeated attempts to sensitise people, the misconceptions prevailed. This deeply moved Mr. Ayika Raju.
After encountering several cases of HIV/AIDS kids similar to this, he attempted to start off by arranging some funds to provide nutrition to the kids by offering some financial help to their guardians. Sadly, the guardians were not ready to take care of the children due to lack of awareness and misconceptions. Later, Mr. Ayika Raju struggled hard to admit them to any organization which would take care of HIV/AIDS infected kids. But he couldn’t find one. Then he decided to not let this fury go futile.
These turn of events gradually motivated Mr Ayika Raju and his family to begin this home. It started with serving 4 kids which now has increased to serving 40 kids. And from then, there has been no looking back. During this 19 years of service he gained a lot of knowledge in this field and learned how to care and protect HIV infected Kids.
We are running a charitable home in which we provide complete care and support to 40 HIV/AIDS infected kids and in addition to this we provide home based care to 60 HIV/AIDS infected kids. Now I feel very happy and blessed for being able to give this kind of service giving to the underprivileged HIV/AIDS children. I always feel lucky that god has given me an opportunity to do this service. Andhra Pradesh is the state which has highest number of AIDS cases in India.
There are more than 10,000 kids suffering with HIV/AIDS in Andhra pradesh out of which we are taking care close to 100 including home-based care (which is close to 1%). The above numbers shows that presently in society there are many children who are waiting to be rescued from lack of nutrition, care and concern. These kids never committed any mistake but are suffering with HIV. They do not enjoy their life and die at early age. I always feel that no amount of service is enough for these kids. I intent to serve more but the financial means are less. I would be immensely happy if you would like to join us in this journey. Together we can make a difference in the lives of these kids.
I would also sincerely request all of you to pray to god to get a curable medicine as early as possible to HIV patients so that they can live a long happy life just like all of us.”
We mainly started this home to cater kids whose parents infected with AIDS, passed it on to their kids and ignored by their relatives. We consider it as a boon that god handed over to us the responsibility of upbringing these kids. Each kid in our home are from unique background and have a different story to tell. We often wonder why these small kids should suffer for the mistakes their parents committed. When my husband first proposed the idea of setting up the home, I couldn’t quite understand. I now understand very well and realise that it’s a god given gift to be able to serve these kids and contribute to our society. We express our heartiest gratitude to all those who have helped us in this journey.
At our home all the kids stay together like a big family. We all eat together, which helps the kids to feel our home as their house. Also all of them call me their mother. I really feel content in my life, when I’m able to become mother for these many kids. I also pray that the medicine for AIDS is found out as soon as possible so that these kids can live a healthy, happy and longer life.
We hope that serving 100 kids is just a beginning and we pray that this number ever keeps on increasing. To self-sustain the kids in their future and their life, I feel they should establish a small scale industry and stand on their own feet. For all these and above, we need your support.