Understanding AIDS & Beyond

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It was a sunny Sunday morning with a glaring bright sun shining towards Manipal despite the monsoon season where I joined a group of 60 other enthusiastic students from my campus, embarking on a journey to Snehasadan AIDS Rehabilitation Center in Mangalore.

This is the second time I have visited the same center where I came during Christmas period last year as it was organized by the same club - Reach Out. I am glad to be part of the organizing committee this time~

There are approximately 34 kids in the center who are infected with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which results in them suffering from AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). I think one of the main reasons is due to inheritance from their parents. It is saddening, in fact, to know that such innocent kids are being victimized due to the negligence of their parents and they have to bear the painful consequences immediately once they open their eyes into this cruel world. How fragile life is...

It took us almost 2 hours to reach the center where some of our students puked due to the never ending S-shaped roads. We were greeted by the cheerful kids there once we reached and they are so hyper active, even before our scheduled games started, they dance and jumped non stop once we played the music! I can clearly see the happiness in their faces and they can't wait to show off their talents in all the games we played.

The best we can do is to bring joy to them, although only one morning of playing and interacting with them is not sufficient, but we portrayed that the community still cares for them. There are so many people suffering in every part of the world but the least we can do is to reach out for more of them, even only a small group. Don't talk about relieving pain from the suffered and helping those who are poor if we do not care for the surrounding as a doctor-to-be.

Among the games we played were pass-the-parcel, musical chair, ping-pong game and much more. Now only I realised that controlling a bunch of kids and ordering them to listen to our instructions is a challenge! They are so excited with our presence and got more excited when prizes such as colouring books are distributed to some of the winners. 

I am sure some of our students enjoyed the time with them too, reminiscing the moments when we were small, same like them, moments which we no longer get it back and defined as memories in us. So here we are, creating good memories for others too. Thankfully the kids are well behaved throughout and they can understand simple English which makes it easy for us to strengthen the bonds with them. 

I seriously had a great time with them although it is just for a few hours. Malaysians or Indians, we are all the same and the same blood runs in us. May these few hours bring some impact to their lives as it brought to mine. The feeling of going back to Manipal and leaving the kids is one which I find it hard to express, knowing the fact that I may not be able to see the same faces again the next time I come here...

Credits to Harry Ng for sponsoring his camera for this event~


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