The Department of Civil Engineering organized a visit to the Child care center located in Hennur road, which is about 50 kms from Faculty of Engineering. The Center is under ‘Freedom Foundation’ which is an NGO run by Mr. Ashok Rau.We started from the campus on the late afternoon of a Saturday at 13:30. As we embarked upon this journey, we were on one hand excited and on the other hand curious to know these children.
As we reached, we saw many tiny smiling faces greet us. We met the Residential Councellor, Mr. Naveen who was stationed in the house 24/7 to take care of the children. We learnt about the functioning of the NGO and also how the children were taken care of. There are 14 children currently in the childcare centre, and all of them are AIDS affected children. They live on drugs every day, since their white blood cells or T-cells which provide immunity to the body are weakened by the HIV virus.
We began to interact with the children. First came in this little girl who is called D, who wants to become a teacher, then Mahalakshmi, who wants to become a doctor, Bhavana, an RJ, Vinod, an aeronautical Engineer, and other children with lots of hope. We also learnt that the foundation has seen one Ms. Anitha, who left the child care centre is now part of the AXA group working as an Admin Assistant. She comes once in 15 days to share with all memories of old.
Altogether, this home looked lovely. It seemed that they have learnt to share their joy and pain, to accept each other as brother and sister, they were together as one, inspite of the social stigmas that they might face when people know the reality. Just a few moments with them left us with so many questions behind, yet convinced to live life with all its challenges.
‘When there are children who could be wondering ‘Why was I even born? – Am I who is bestowed with everything ought to complain about anything around me?’, ‘When there are children who cannot have personal attention-Am I, who is old enough ought to think only about SELF and not about the neighbour?’, When there are these children who are so full of gratitude, Am I not forever indebted to God?