Sunday, November 28

Kolkata Gives helps home for kids with HIV

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A home that takes care of HIV positive kids have run out of resources because regular contributors have stopped funding in the wake of the lockdown.

But the home in Gobindapur in South 24-Parganas, Anandaghar, that supports 76 such kids has not stopped running because of some individuals from Kolkata Gives Foundation who have stepped forward with contributions.

The Organisation for Friends Energies and Resources runs the home.

Kallol Ghosh, the home secretary, said the private facility depended on contributions from individuals to take care of the kids. Apart from the HIV positive kids, the home has 150 children who are differently-abled.

Ghosh, who founded the home in 1986, said they needed Rs 7.5 lakh a month to provide the children with food, education and regular health check-ups.

The HIV positive kids require special attention as they are immunocompromised, he said.

“We started feeling the pinch from March-end when regular donors stopped their contributions. People are now saving their resources to save themselves from the pandemic. In fact, no can be blamed for the panic reaction in this unforeseen scenario. But it has left us in the lurch,” Ghosh said.

The extent of the crisis is so large that people who were unfazed by the demonetisation have now backed off, a home official said. “They kept contributing steadily then. But this time they have been forced to rethink.”

The home generally approached companies for funds towards the end of March because donations get tax exemption, Ghosh, who has worked as a volunteer with the United Nations, said. “But the situation is grim this time… companies are hardly responding.”

As resources ran dry, the home contacted Kolkata Gives Foundation, a platform of donors. These donors are trying to help those struggling to collect resources during the lockdown.

“We knew about the kind of work Kallol Ghosh has been doing over the years. So, when we got to know that he had run out of resources, our foundation chipped in to provide the essentials needed to feed the kids,” Mudar Patherya, one of trustees of the foundation, said. “We are helping labourers and the marginalised who have been out of work for weeks as well.

Patheya has been associated with the foundation since its inception in 2014.

Ghosh said he was “grateful” to the foundation for bailing him out. “But I am scared… what if the lockdown is carried forward. I am worried about the future of these kids.”

 

Source: The Telegraph

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