HIV+ teens to take part in Children's Olympics

HIV+ teens to take part in Children's Olympics

 Two HIV-positive teenagers from the City  will represent India at the International Children’s Games to be held between June 24 and 29, at Alkmaar in the Netherlands.

Life has just begun for Babu and Manik, budding sportspersons, who have been training for the last six months to take part in the Children’s Olympics. The duo have shattered the myth that being HIV positive was not the end of the road. In fact, the journey has only begun for them.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader congratulated the students on Friday, for setting an example for the others to emulate. Babu and Manik are part of Sneha Care Home and Shining Star School, and are training for marathons over the past seven years. The two have participated in several marathons. At the Children’s Olympics, Babu will be running 1,500 mts event, while Manik will be taking part in 100 mts event and a relay too.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Fr Mathew said, “Most of the inmates are orphan or have single parents. They are malnourished and their immunity levels are low due to HIV infection. This affects their studies also. Taking part in sports helps boost their morale and they become physically fit and emotionally strong,” he added. Babu is an orphan, while Manik’s mother stays in Bidar. Babu dreams of joining Sneha to help children like him, while Manik is interested in computers.

The school inmates were trained by the BSSF as part of its “CHAMPION IN ME - Red Ribbon Revolution” programme, initiated by the BSSF Director, Elvis Joseph, in 2009.

As per the statistics available with the Karnataka State Aids Prevention Society (KSAPS), as many as 2,69,383 HIV infected are registered with ART centres across the State, ever since the inception of KSAPS in 2004, till May, 2015. Among them, 1,19,575 are being treated. treatment. Among these, 17,215 registered cases are that of children, of which 7,532 of them are undergoing treatment. There are 64 ART centres in Karnataka.

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