Spreading ray of hope

Shadow of death

Living under the shadow of death, Sugna did not lose heart and today she has formed a group of 17 other HIV positive women of the nearby villages and encourages them to lead a normal life.

Sugna, who lost her husband to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) two years back, had to face a social boycott when she also tested positive.

“My husband worked in Pune...when he came home two years back, he was very sick. The doctors later said that he was HIV positive...despite all treatment he could not survive,” she said.

“We had to borrow money against our agricultural land to meet the treatment expenses of my husband,” Sugna said.

“Things turned from bad to worse when both myself and my five-year-old daughter tested HIV positive...people stopped visiting my home...no one invited me for functions and other social programmes,” she said.

Sugna, however, had other ideas. With a strong desire to live, Sugna received help from Karuna, a social worker. With her help she got a part-time job of a peon.

“I also got work under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme,” she said adding that with the money she earned she paid off her debts on land and then started producing cash crops in her fields.

With increase in income her health also gradually improved and now she sends her daughter to the school. Her son is undergoing carpentry training in the city.

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