A home for the HIV positive

Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao
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Father Jyotish
Father Jyotish

A three-month-old baby boy wrapped in rags was abandoned on the verandah of Karunalayam around 4 a.m. last year. The morning duty nurse spotted the child at 4.30 a.m. and brought the child in.

Father Jyotish tried his best to trace its origin even through the local papers, but in vain.

On one Good Friday day, a three-month-old baby girl was left behind on a four-wheeler outside the Church at Karunapuram by unknown people. One of the Churchgoers noticed and informed Father Jyotish. He brought that child too to Karunalayam, the care and support centre for HIV positive people.

All these children - those abandoned by unknown parents, referred, adopted – all make up for 94 children, including boys and girls, over the years.

“We usually take children above three years of age. But sometimes, we are forced to accept those abandoned by parents,” he explains.

Last year, a woman with HIV was brought to Mission Hospital during her advanced stage of pregnancy. The doctors there asked Father Jyotish to accept her. The woman died shortly but the child survived, thanks to the care and support extended by Father Jyotish and his team.

Most of the children here survive beyond the expected time – all due to dedication and love. “The children here get a high protein diet, timely medical care, peaceful atmosphere and relaxed environment - play or watch television or are engaged in counselling,” Father Jyotish explains.

The Karunalayam care and support centre for HIV-AIDS affected people was set up in 2002 when Father Jyotish, who was working as a pastor in a small church at Thorrur, came forward to accept the challenge. “I was drawn into the mission after seeing the relatives of a boy fighting over whose responsibility the chid was. His parents, afflicted by AIDS, had died. The relatives were interested in the property left behind but not the child as he was also afflicted by AIDS. Then I decided I should work in another direction. With the help of my diocese here, we set up this centre,” he explained.

One can reach Father Jyotish at 98495-71049 or

Most of the children here survive beyond the expected time, all due to dedication and love



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