Devid (name changed), a 15-year-old boy, does not remember when his parents died, but he still remember the day when his uncle left him at SMS Hospital in Jaipur. “It was Christmas eve in 2007 when he brought me here from our home in Shriganganagar.” said Devid. “I didn’t know at that time the cause of my parents death and why my relatives were abandoning me, but it was painful and I cried a lot.”Devid is one of those thousands of children in the state who are abandoned by their relatives after death of their parents. Reason: these kids are born HIV positive, came in the world with the infection transmitted to them from their parents. “The disease involves stigma, so people do not want to even accept the relation with children,” Smriti Singh, secretary, FAITH said. Singh runs a shelter home in the outskirts of urban Jaipur where 83 HIV positive children are living. “One can see here that these kids can live normal lives. All of them go to different schools where they study and play with around other 2,000 children. To reduce the viral effect of infection they are being provided with the daily doze of ART including calcium and zinc tablets. When at home, they play musical instruments and grow organic vegetables in kitchen garden,” Singh said.These children know nothing more than the fact that they are like other kids, except that unlike others they have to take a daily doze of ART and practice specific precautions in case of any bruise or bleeding. Like every aspiring child for whom sky is the limit, Devid has a dream to play in Pro-Kabaddi League one day.
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Yogi Adityanath

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