She was born into a family ridden by AIDS and poverty. But she still dared to dream. Now, an aspiring engineer, she vows to take care of her family. This is the story of Adilakshmi – a little girl, who fought HIV and the stigma associated with it and dares to be ambitious.
Adilakshmi’s father – a cobbler, succumbed to AIDS when she was very young. After his death, her mother, who was also HIV positive started looking for orphanages for her children. Out of her siblings, Adilakshmi was the only one, who was tested positive for HIV. Marred by malnutrition and hunger, Adilakshmi was badly in need of a shelter home. Her Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and other medication were being neglected.
It was then that DESIRE Society took up the challenge of building a future for Adilakshmi, with help from Charities Aid Foundation India. She was put on a special diet and it was ensured that she was taking her ART medications daily. Living with HIV needs discipline and Adilakshmi did it with élan.
Soon after she was admitted to the care home, she gained weight and height. She was schooled privately along with other inmates. The private schooling was adapted in her case along with other inmates of care home. Now she is 18 and has joined the CMR engineering college in the city.
“One day, I will take the place of my father and run my family,” she says proudly. “DESIRE Society has given me the confidence of living by my rules and being empathetic to people.”
Her college takes pride in having Adilakshmi as a student. Adilakshmi has a life – a normal life, like any other college-going student.