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Rays Aasha Ki Ek Kiran, a non-government organisation that runs homes for the HIV-affected children, celebrated its third anniversary at a well-attended event here over the weekend, promising to reach out to more such needy this year. The aim of Rays is to reach to more HIV-affected and infected children. All these kinds need is your love and time, said Captain (Retd) Gurinder Virk, who co-founded Rays after leaving a lucrative job with the Tatas. He said the initiative started with a single home for three children three years ago and has expanded to two homes now catering to 43 children. The contributions, he added, come from like-minded people.
Apart from looking after the food, clothing, education, entertainment of the children, the NGO also ensures proper medication and health environment is provided to the children. All 43 children attend regular school along with various hobbies to enhance their skill-sets. What is unique about the shelter home is it is also managed by HIV positive women, who sort of become mothers to similarly-affected children -- a project where care-givers themselves are patients.
The shelter house provides neatly decorated large rooms, apart from a study room and a library for the children. The caregivers also live on the premises. The NGO encourages the children to express themselves through plays and also organises other events like bike rallies to mark various occasions such as World AIDS Day. Last year, a bike rally was organised on World AIDS Day that was led by Ek Tha Tiger director Kabir Khan to spread awareness and express solidarity with the HIV-positive fraternity. (Read: Together we can end HIV/AIDS)
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