Ten years ago, a distraught mother came to Snehalaya Rehabilitation Center with her malnourished child, saying: "My husband has died of HIV and I can't raise and educate my child alone. Please take my baby in your arms.” He was three years old.
Although she was providing him with his ART medication she was worried about his deteriorating health and trusted us to provide him the healthcare he desperately needed. She left with a heavy heart but over the years has kept in regular contact visiting her soon whenever she could. The child was also upset and a loner to begin with but with encouragement from Samadhan, our Rehab Center coordinator, he soon started mingling with our other children.
To begin with, the child was very sick and we showed him to pediatrician Dr Shahnaz Ayub Madam. She has provided our children with incredible free medical examinations and care 24 hours a day for many years. She suggested we show him to doctors at our district ART Center, where tests showed that his CD4 count (immunity) was very low. A 2D echo also found he has a hole in his heart, fortunately, surgery was not needed, but attention to his health needed to be followed. With the love of his caregivers and others, regular ART medication, and a healthy diet and lifestyle with regular exercise his physical health began to grow.
With his health improving day by day, we decided to send him to school at our Snehalaya English Medium School. Since then he has flourished. His good nature, charming personality, and academic attitude have made him popular among both his classmates and teachers. He takes part in most school programs, speaks good English and this year received our Ideal Student Award.
His goal is to become a software engineer which is well within his capabilities. Seeing his progress, his mother is very happy and tears of pride well up in her eyes as she thanks us for looking after her son, adding “Snehalaya Sanstha will be with me for the rest of my life.”