Rajendra came to Arms Around the Child’s care home in Jaipur, India, after his parents died of AIDS. Despite frequent near-fatal health problems he has triumphed. Here is his story:
“I came to Faith from my village in Bhilwara in 2008. I had to come because both of my parents had died of AIDS and there was nobody to take care of me except my very old grandfather. It was very difficult because I was very sick from my HIV and from not having enough food to eat at home and I felt very tired all the time.
But I really liked Faith. The people were so kind and always made sure I had enough food to eat and I really liked the other boys. The doctors that come here were also very nice and gave me lots of medicine to help me and make my immune system stronger, which they said was weak because of my HIV.
When I got better I joined in yoga and meditation with the other boys as well as the games like cricket and football. I would get tired very easily but I liked it as long as I could do it. I also really liked going to school and studying. I would always listen to my teacher and try to learn as much as I could. I took my final year exams in 2015 and my marks were very good.
I am not always healthy and strong. Three summers ago I got very sick with lots of rashes all over my skin, and my face also started to shake a lot. The doctors said I had facial epilepsy. My voice and my hands also started to get very shaky, which was frightening. The doctors gave me some medicine though and this helped.
After my final exams, I went home to visit to visit my family. They are very superstitious and they didn’t want me to take my medicine. Instead, they took me to temple and asked the gods to remove my illness. I stayed there for one month and my skin got very bad. When the people at Faith came to visit they told my grandfather that I must take my medicine.
Now I am back at home permanently and my family and the people from Faith work together to look after me. I still shake sometimes and I also sometimes have to go to hospital to get help with my skin infections but I am happy to be with my family. I have started my own marketing business and I visited Delhi to get training, which was very exciting. I hope one day to be a successful man.”
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