By Daniel Lee
Slums in Vijayawada
We’re now visiting a slum area in Vijayawada, near the Krishna River. In the slum we could see families having this own small space of home, while the ladies are washing clothes in the river and drying it directly on the ground.
Story of Heartbreak
Jaya*’s husband is a lorry driver that always travels for work and lives away from his family for a few months at a time. And he is HIV-positive, so the wife was also infected.
From her expressions, we could feel that she was very depressed about this matter. Before they got married, her family was proud of him and considered him a good man to marry, but when things changed, everyone held her responsible for marrying him. She was very upset at first, but had to just face it.
Well we are glad that she looks healthy and cheerful. But she’s worried about her daughter who is now only 1 and a half years old. She’s worried of one day needing to leave this world, and who will take care of her daughter?
When we asked her about her dream, she meekly says that she couldn’t afford to dream for herself, but she wishes that her brother and sister be good and study well. And maybe one day she can own her own sewing machine.
Well, we are very glad for them, and wish that they could always stay happy together.
A 10-year old boy Raja* who is HIV-positive lives as an orphan. His parents passed away when he was very young. The father passed away when he was 3 months old, and the mother when he was 3 years old. Right now he’s taken care by his elder sister and grandma.
We’re not sure how much he knows about HIV, but he knows that he is different from other children. However, his friends and people around him treat him as a normal child.
And when he grows up, he speaks of wanting to to be a policeman, cause he wants to help people. While the grandma just hope that he studies hard and is able to get a job that doesn’t involve hazardous work, so that he doesn’t need to work so hard.
After visiting these families, I actually think that they might not live in dire poverty, but being HIV-positive and losing family members has given them a very hard time.
But we are glad that they are strong enough to face it.
And thru World Vision, they are at least taken care, and educated about healthcare, especially HIV/AIDS.
*all names have been changed to protect the identity of these people.