Monday, 21 July 2008

A small child with AIDS

The shrivelled little boy looks like the stock image burned in our mind of an AIDS-afflicted child from Africa.

Except that he is admitted at our Jeevan Sahara Kendra centre.

Little Satish is skin and bones. And lots of diarrhoea. His father - Mr. Langru - died 2 months ago. His mother has HIV as well and is a rag picker. They are living on a pavement in a shack. Satish has HIV too. He is severly dehydrated and malnourished. But it is the diarrhoea that is doing the job of killing him now. And the lack of family.

We have admitted the little boy with the hope he will revive. Do say a prayer for him. His mother and two other siblings will be at the centre for a week. He doesn't know how to use a commode and so defecates on the floor of the bathroom. Repeatedly - since he has diarrhoea.

Our hope is that he will be rehydrated with the oral rehydration solution we have for him - and that he will start gaining a bit of weight soon.

We also hope that we will be able to get his mother off the streets. She harbours dreams that a man who works as a trucker will come and marry her and look after her and the kids. Unlikely as he already has his own family. Talk is cheap - but in situations of misery the cheapest words can be latched onto like a leech.

Mrs. Langru does have relatives. Her sister says that she has asked Mrs. Langru to stay with her. Mrs. Langru seems to say otherwise. What is the sum of miseries which have gone on over the years to have reduced the family to such destitution?

Remember little Satish for a moment. And his mother and siblings too. And our JSK staff who are lovingly looking after them. And believing in a miracle.

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