Monday, 24 November 2008

What will the future hold?

Rahul - our JSK staff member - was walking with Tarun - a 10 year old boy on Friday.

It was hot. The boy did not have shoes. His mother - Mrs. Candy - has multi-drug resistant TB.

When they got to their destination, a small hostel run by a church in one of the outlying stations on the central suburban line, the children there welcomed them.

"We were like Tarun when we first came here" they said. "We did not have baths - we did not wash our own clothes. But now we are different."

Tarun is not an easy child. Having grown up on the street, he can hardly sit still in one place for any length of time.

Rahul had been talking with Tarun, encouraging him. Tarun was ready to return to the challenge of living in the hostel. It was not easy for him - but having been idle in the small shack with his sick mother - he realised this was an opportunity to grow.

"I will change, Rahul uncle" he said before Rahul left him. "I will wash myself and wash my clothes too."

What will the future hold for this boy - and for so many others like him whose partents have HIV. He has already lost his father - and his mother is holding on by a thread.

Rahul told us this morning with tears in his eyes - that he believes that Tarun will break the cycle of poverty and neglect. "He will be a great person - maybe a pastor" said Rahul.

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