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Restoration of hope

Kalaivani a 37 year old woman narrated her journey with HIV. “Thirteen years ago during the first ANC checkup of my second pregnancy, “I was diagnosed HIV positive at Walajah Government Hospital of Vellore, Tamil Nadu. Kalaivania 37 year old woman, was shocked to hear this from the doctor and at the same time wondered why the doctor told her about HIV and not other details. The doctor was very good and very patiently explained everything but was equally worried about her health. That made Kalaivani depressed about her future and she wondered how she acquired it, the doctor advised her husband to have a HIV test and unfortunately he was also found positive.

Even though, both of them underwent a thorough counselling session, they were worried about their future, especially for their daughter and the unborn baby.

This fear led them to separate themselves from the rest of their family. They moved to a rented house and though Kalaivani’s husband continued his work as daily wage labourer. Everything went well for some time until her husband fell sick. Due to his frequent sickness, he was admitted in the hospital and diagnosed with kidney dysfunction. Poor finances meant that he did not get proper treatment and his kidney problem further deteriorated. He stopped going for his work regularly which affected their family income and increased debts. They struggled a lot even to meet their basic needs. It was within this hard time that their second daughter was born and she was also found to be HIV positive. That news really shattered Kalaivani and she just gave up inspite of all the counselling, Kalaivani was scared to undergo a caesarean which would have reduced her daughter’s chances of getting HIV. After the positive result she really felt that she had doomed her daughter. Ten years went by with all the guilt.DSC09562

It was during a visit to the ART centre, by sheer chance, she came across information about an NGO called CROSS. Kalaivani decided to visit the NGO and see what they offered for families like hers. Several meetings, discussions and visits followed and CROSS staff became real friends, Kalaivani and her family were enrolled for support. CROSS supported Kalaivani to set up  a small shop along with a ‘Tiffin centre’ (Snack store). Kalaivani and her husband left their daily labour work and put all their energies into the shop. Now their efforts have borne fruit. They have cleared their debts, bought a two wheeler for transport and their home has some basic utensils and labour saving devices, all of which was not even in their hope list.



IMG_1573Ms. Kuki Rokhum, Director- Training and Mobilization Dept. with Mrs. Kalaivani and her family.

Along with support to start the shop, CROSS also put Kalaivani’s family in touch with a care giver, Mr. Paul who supports them with counselling support. Many times Pastor Aruldass also visits them and Kalaivani says “Though we are not Christian, we like them visiting and comforting us through their words. They taught us to value God’s creation and to trust Him in all our ways. That made me to realize the value of our children. Our Children are getting education support also from CROSS which indeed encourages them to study well. Now we feel independent. I am thankful to CROSS and EFICOR for journeying with us and giving us the hope to live.”



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