Kalahandi: HIV positive children in Odisha’s Kalahandi have a home to call their own. The man behind ‘Prayash’ the private shelter home is Saroj Kumar Das.
He founded the shelter home in 2015 at Dhamanpur village of Kalahandi district. His special home provides shelter to HIV positive children.
He also pays all the educational expenses of the children living in the shelter home.
“When I was in the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), we rescued an HIV positive girl, but faced a lot of trouble for her rehabilitation. That’s what inspired me to start a shelter home for children who are HIV positive. We are running the shelter home on donations only,” said Das to ANI.
Although Odisha is ahead of the national average in AIDS control and there is also decline of 22 per cent in AIDS related deaths, according to the latest estimate, as many as 46,264 people are living with HIV infection in the state. While coastal district Ganjam has topped the list with 15,034 HIV infected patients, Boudh in at the bottom with only 59 cases. Cuttack has 6,264 HIV positive cases followed by Sambalpur 2745 cases, Khurda 2523 cases, Koraput 2356 cases, Angul 1,655 cases, Balasore 1,460 and Balangir 1,334.
In Mayurbhanj, HIV/AIDS has continued to spread over the past 13 years. While 1,041 HIV-positive individuals have been identified, 249 have succumbed to the epidemic. The number of HIV-affected persons is still on the rise in the district despite maximum efforts to control the disease.