There is big hope on the horizon for many orphans affected with HIV-AIDS in Mizoram after the opening of a rehabilitation centre in Aizawl.
Gan Sabra, the rehabilitation centre, is today a permanent abode to these orphans, who have been abandoned by their families.
"In many ways for our children who are infected with HIV-AIDS, for them it's a bit like a desert because of the discrimination, because of the stigma, because of different problem that they face but then they will survive and we are trying to provide a family for them in this home because we feel that is what they need, a family where they can be loved, cared and protected" said Lucy Maruati, founder of the Gan Sabra.
The Gan Sabra presently provides shelter to 14 children, who are aged between 20 months to 16 years.
These children get to live in a homely environment, where they take care of each other. However, each of them has a sad story to narrate.
"I am HIV positive and I got it from my parents. Now they are no more, so I live here. We stay here as a family and take care of each other," said Lalchawndamian, a HIV-AIDS affected child.
The rehabilitation centre, which is run through public donations, also provides free medical treatment to students.
First and the only transitional children's home in Mizoram, it is an innovative project of Lucy Maruati. She had adopted a girl child in 2006, who was abandoned by her parents as she was tested HIV positive during birth.
Apart from taking care of the children, Lucy and her volunteer friends also conduct regular awareness and workshop campaigns on prevention of AIDS.