Proud ‘Appa’ to HIV+ kids

Solomon Raja with some of the children at the Shelter in Red Hills, Chennai

“I want to adopt an HIV+ child… do you know anyone?”

“I have someone. Come and take him,” informed the voice at the other end.

When Solomon Raja went to visit the six-year-old Arputha who was kept with Noori, he was touched by the little boy’s story. Both his parents and all his five siblings died due to a deadly virus. And this boy’s days too were getting counted. Though Solomon thought of sponsoring the boy’s upbringing, no other institution was ready to accept him due to his medical condition. At that time, in 2005, HIV was more dreaded than today.

When Solomon brought Arputha home, his family refused to accept the HIV+ boy. So Solomon had to rent another house. Since his wife, Felvia Shanthi, too, was a working woman, Solomon took the boy along with him to office. But his colleagues were against it. So Solomon had to resign from his job.

Solomon began looking for a companion for Arputha, and finally found another six-year-old HIV+ girl through Noori. The news began to spread rapidly that Solomon was adopting HIV+ kids. A 70-year-old man came from Andhra Pradesh and pleaded with Solomon to take care of his two HIV+ grandchildren since it was impossible for him to travel every week to Chennai for their medical treatment.

Cover of the August 2022 issue of The Teenager Today - Independence Day Special

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F. M. Britto serves marginalized people in a remote village in Chhattisgarh with education and development programmes. He is the author of six books including 99 Changemakers and Keys To Success And Happiness published by Better Yourself Books.

F. M. Britto

F. M. Britto serves marginalized people in a remote village in Chhattisgarh with education and development programmes. He is the author of six books including 99 Changemakers and Keys To Success And Happiness published by Better Yourself Books.