Solomon Raj is a proud father of 47 adopted HIV positive children and he juggles three jobs to meet their expenses, most of which are medical. These children had been abandoned by relatives when Solomon took them under his wings. He set up Shelter Trust, where he is assisted by 11 staff, who are also HIV Positive, to take care of these children.
“I wanted to bring home a child who needed more care than others, such as a differently-abled or HIV positive child. My family had reservations about it.”
However, the guilt of not going in for adoption nagged him. Then in 2005, a friend mentioned a seven year-old-boy to Solomon. Initially I declined, but when I heard story about the boy, I changed my mind. This kid had seen six HIV related deaths in his family – mother, father and siblings. He was the lone survivor, with only a few days to live,” says Solomon.
When Solomon took the child to his office, people who regularly had lunch with him started avoiding him and chose to eat at different times because the child was sitting next to him. Appalled by their ignorance he decided to prove a point and show people that its perfectly normal to live with HIV children.
So he started adopting more kids under his NGO ‘ Shelter trust’ and today he is the proud father to a happy family of 47 HIV positive kids.
When he required help for taking care of them, nobody came forward because of the fear factor of contracting HIV. That is when he decided he would employ HIV positive widows and commercial sex workers to take care of the kids.
“In doing so I provided a home for these women who were suffering from the disease themselves and my kids also got caring mothers who understood their condition”
All of his kids call him ‘ Appa’ and as a caring father he feels completely responsible for their education and their health.
“Since all of my children are Immuno deficient because of HIV , it is hard to predict how many will fall sick next month and what treatment they might require “
Solomon has been juggling three day jobs and multiple other odd jobs to make money for the family. He now requires your help to provide a healthy livelihood for these children, who are suffering for no fault of theirs.
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