Let’s Join Hands For A Healthier Tomorrow

Name: Rani
Age: 12 Years
HIV Status: Positive

Rani’s mother is a member of HIV positive forum for the past six years. Both Rani’s mother and father are HIV positive. Rani has never seen her father being kind to her mother. Her mother was treated as a maid servant by the father and paternal grandmother. Rani’s mother had to do a lot of work for long hours as a result she became very weak.

One day my Rani’s maternal uncle visited them. He could not bear the sight of Rani’s mother’s subservient position in the family. He advised her that she need not be ill-treated resulting in her deranged health. There was a big fight in the family. Rani’s father was stubborn and was firm in saying that her mother’s position will not change till her death. This upset Rani’s uncle and he appealed to her sister that she can walkout of marriage as she was not respected any longer.

From then on, Rani and her mother started living in Tirupati at their uncle’s place. Rani’s mother joined WINS’ Positive People’s Forum. She got a small loan advance to continue her traditional work of making shoes and slippers along with her brother.During some meetings wherein children were allowed, Rani expressed her interest to join school. However, Rani’s mother was very reluctant to send her to school. She felt that Rani’s positive HIV status will never be accepted and securing an admission in a school will mean going through unnecessary hurdles.

WINS staff stressed that all the children irrespective of their health can and should go to school. One day Rani’s mother managed to meet a teacher in a primary school. She explained to the teacher that she and her child were HIV positive. The teacher promptly said she cannot allow Rani to sit alongside rest of the children. This was informed to WINS Staff and they approached the Principal of the school who was extremely kind. Following which, Rani’s mother was informed to meet the Principal to discuss the admission particulars.

The Principal was kind enough to make sure that Rani would sit in the classroom along with all the other children. A joyful Rani recollects, “I was so happy and all of them were quite friendly, I can never forget my first experience in my school. My mother was able to believe that there were kind hearted persons like my principal and class teacher who hardly show any discrimination against me or any other children like me.”

Rani concludes, “Attending the WINS’ Positive People meetings, I came to know that if I am not well, or if I am hurt or somebody hurts me I should report to my teacher and principal and they take complete care of me. I am leading a normal, joyful life,unlike before!”