Extreme stigma revolves around AIDS, but what many overlook in their ignorance is the fact that those suffering with AIDS desire to live as normally as possible. Nurturing this desire and embracing such children is Vizag’s Desire society.
Perhaps the saddest aspect of AIDS is when children for no fault of theirs get affected and are consequently shunned by their own family. Not one or two, but there are many instances when after the parents (usually AIDS or HIV carriers themselves) give up and the extended family like uncles and aunts refuse to care for the blameless child. Stepping up and taking on the responsibilities of such innocent children, is Desire, a society committed to helping them. It is a sanctuary for those unfortunate children who acquired the deadly virus from their parents; a place where their wellbeing, education and health is tended to with love and most importantly, acceptance. With branches in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi (Gurgaon), Mumbai and Visakhapatnam, Desire, which was established in 2005, today is a haven where the orphans are not deprived of a home.
Run by Ramesh, the Vizag branch is located in Gajuwaka and accommodates 24 children from ages 6 to 15. Considering that some of the children have been brought into the home in very critical and malnourished conditions, they are nursed back with care. They are not only bestowed with basic needs, but much more. These children attend school, have fun around the home, finish their home work and lead a normal life like any other child of their age. They are given nutritious food in addition to ARV (antiretroviral) medicines that help in prolonging their lifespan. King George Hospital helps them out with the supplies of medicines along with other health supplements. Thanks to the selfless care of Ramesh and the caretakers, the children never feel isolated. Even though the inflow of donations is sporadic, birthdays and festivals are celebrated and occasional outings are arranged for the children. Each child is a success story, and each day that they get to live a life as normal as any other kid, is a day to rejoice.