Serving Kids with HIV in India
Smiles flash across the faces of the kids at the Sparsh Balgram organization as they sing Love, Peace and Harmony.
These youngsters didn’t have a lot to smile about prior to finding refuge in this safe haven. Some of the children have no parents. Some of their parents had AIDS and died. Relatives didn’t want to take care of them and had left them to fend for themselves in a diseased state.
People affected with HIV and AIDS are shunned from India’s society. Religious beliefs and a lack of education create fears surrounding the disease. There’s a stigma and taboo regarding HIV and AIDS especially in rural areas. Many are concerned and have fears of being infected themselves.
Mahesh Yadav, who runs Sparsh Balgram, sees past the stigmas, and only sees the light and love that emanates from these kids. He brings these children home and both he and his wife Sujata take care of them.
Mahesh originally worked with non-governmental organizations in Pune. Part of his work duties had him collecting data on children living with HIV, so he would find them living in different places. When the organization that he worked for shut its doors, he decided to continue the mission of providing services for children affected by HIV. The goal is to provide a safe environment where these children have access to the basic rights of protection, education, healthcare and a joyful childhood.
These children receive housing, food and an abundance of love from the Yadavs. Once the kids turn 12 years old, they attend counseling sessions once every two months where they share information about their past, health, mental state and emotional well-being. The fact that they have been abandoned is not disclosed until they are 18 years old. This gradual process of counseling helps the children to avoid outbursts and experience emotional despair. They are encouraged to accept their situation and are encouraged to live a normal life.
Sarosh Buhariwala and Aayishah Kondar began meeting with these kids to share the teachings of Master Sha. After experiencing personal transformation by incorporating Love, Peace and Harmony into their own lives, they are dedicated to share what they’ve learned with the purpose to serve and make others healthier and happier. The couple has shared Love, Peace and Harmony with others who were suffering and less privileged, in schools, senior citizen homes and orphanages including the children at Sparsh Balgram.
From the moment they met and connected with the children with HIV at Sparsh Balgram, they decided to do their best to support them in every possible way.
They’ve been sharing Love, Peace and Harmony with these kids for nearly four years. They teach the kids about forgiveness and ways to enhance their health and well-being through Master Sha’s teachings. The kids have established daily practices and sing Love, Peace and Harmony during their prayer time.
Sarosh and Aayishah have seen significant transformation in the kid’s physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. The kid’s memory and focus has improved and their stress levels have decreased.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not allowed them to meet in-person with the kids for the past two years, but online sessions and regular phone calls to Mahesh keep the practices in place while keeping the kids safe since they are easily susceptible and prone to infection. During these challenging times, the kids haven’t suffered from any major infections. Sarosh and Aayishah believe that the Love, Peace and Harmony meditation and singing has helped them tremendously; and that Master Sha’s love has protected them.
Sarosh and Aayishah continue to envision the kids in a healthy and happy state. The goal is to help these beautiful souls lead a disease-free and normal life. By helping to set the foundation for the kids with HIV, it opens up opportunities for them to enjoy a successful life where they can pursue their hopes and dreams.
>> Visit http://www.sparshbalgram.in to learn more about Sparsh Balgram and how these children are being served.