RAYS – “Aasha ki ek Kiran” was founded in 2010, with a vision of changing the social perspective towards HIV+ people, especially children. In our distant memories, we all remember the time when Shabana Azmi appeared on National TV, clutching onto a HIV+ child, encouraging people to break the vicious social taboo of shunning & discarding them. Soon after, NACO came into existence in the year 1992, and thus began a formal quest within this country to fight this disease & its strong prejudices. NACO wasn’t alone in this fight and many others joined in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We at RAYS, have been engaged in this area since 2010, with the genuine intent of igniting inclusiveness in our society towards HIV+ affected people, and specifically focused on children. This is what has brought together a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds to seed, support, nurture and grow this entity.
To work and strive towards an all inclusive society that does not discriminate against HIV+ people, rather cares for them, tends to them as their own, especially children who are the most vulnerable and are the most deeply affected by this social stigma created and propagated by misinformed few. The deleterious effect that these prejudices induce into the consciousness of our society is something that we aim to work against.
Our mission encompasses the entire spectrum of actions, initiatives and activities.
1. To provide a comfortable, homely, secure and safe shelter to HIV+ children who are orphans, or have been found abandoned at hospitals and children homes.
2. To organise our efforts in providing these children with the same care, love, nutrition and affection that a child of their age deserves and longs for.
3. To provide the best possible schooling to the children, along with development of cognitive skills by organising workshops, games and exercises that involve people from diverse visual arts, performing arts, etc.
4. To mobilise the community opinion and perspectives by organising and encouraging these children to participate in events, festivals, competitions and mingle with people. This engagement helps dispel myths, long held notions and beliefs that are inimical to fostering of social compassion.
5. To pick up social causes and asking these children to come up with ways to tackle the problem at hand. This exercise fosters a sense of belongingness and a feeling of being empowered by contributing towards a common good.
About our ‘Homes’
At present our 2 care-giving homes are in Jaipur, and house 49 children comprising 35 boys & 14 girls. These children come from all parts of Rajasthan, with 1 child from as far as Gujarat. A novel idea to empower even the adult HIV+ people especially women, has been realized by employing them as caretakers at our homes. Monthly visits to ART centers at state hospital, along with visits by specialists are ensured. These homes serve not only as a sanctuary for these kids and their caretakers, but we have strived to make the home as a place that is always buzzing with liveliness and positive energy. Our daily routine includes morning prayers, a period of reflection, games, recreation, theatre activities & craft classes, to name a few. We ensure that all festivals are celebrated through-out the year with great fervour and joy.
Required Volunteer skills – Website designing and online promotion.