Diwali brings hope for old & destitute

GUWAHATI: For those suffering from life-threatening diseases, Diwali is about enjoying a moment and forgetting life’s maladies. Lighting an earthen lamp or bursting a cracker can bring unlimited joy to a blind or HIV-positive child spending days in hospitals, or those living in orphanages and old-age homes.

For 14 HIV-positive, orphaned children at the Kasturi Orphanage in the city, the festival was a chance to forget about the uncertainties in their lives. Some of them are not aware of their disease or the acute shortage of ART medicines.

Their physical condition failed to dampen their mood and spirit as they participated with full vigour and excitement.

The orphanage is also home to toddlers and teenagers whose parents have died of AIDS.

“We held a brief celebration, which was organized by a business house. The children lit diyas and burst crackers. We had to be extra cautious with them. We are planning to shift to a new building and we are worried as people are averse to leasing houses to people with HIV,” said Jahnabi Goswami, a prominent AIDS activist.

The visually-impaired students of Guwahati Blind School soaked in the essence of Diwali. They, too, took part in the celebrations by lighting lamps and bursting crackers.

“The staff at the school prepared ‘Paayokh’, a special dessert, for the students. Altogether, 72 students are enrolled in the school from Classes I to X,” said B Barman, principal, Guwahati Blind School.

 

Article courtesy: TNN

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