A telling tale of the power of crowdfunding and donations to change lives
ASHOK, abandoned as a baby, was in the loving care of our partner NGO Snehalaya’s rehabilitation center, where his cheeky smile and mischievous sense of humor struck a chord with everyone. Yet he was unable to find parents in India to adopt him due to his HIV status and had to be put up for international adoption.
A loving family came along…
When Alan and Kerry saw Ashok they took to him at once. They knew that with the right medication Ashok’s condition could be as easily managed as the health and development of their two other children. They disregarded age, race, colour and health condition to include Ashok in their lovely family.
Little Ashok now lives in America with his parents and two older brothers, one adopted from Haiti and the other, the couples’ natural child. Alan and Kerry keep Snehalaya posted on Ashok’s progress who seems to be growing up fast and has begun to speak.
The video clips they shared show how he took to water like a fish on his first trip to the local swimming pool, has learned to brush his teeth by himself and loves playing in the park with his brothers. He also recently visited Disneyland. It’s lovely to see that he is a regular, happy and healthy little boy.
Alan and Kerry’s actions paved the way for other couples to do the same. The fact is that HIV is a much more manageable virus, thanks to the progress of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART). Using it correctly, an HIV positive person can expect to live a normal life span. The treatment has advanced to an extent where it is now possible for an HIV positive couple to have a child who is negative.
Thank you for a little love and a lot of hope
Ashok was one of the infants in Snehalaya’s care that has found a loving home. During the pandemic, Snehalaya saw a considerable increase in the number of babies in their care awaiting adoption. Not only were adoptions halted at the start of the lockdown, but there were more abandoned newborns by distressed parents.
We started a fundraiser to support our NGO partner in bearing the costs of looking after a higher number of children while they wait for their forever homes. Thanks to your generous contributions over ₹75 lakh was raised. This has assisted the adoption of 12 baby boys and 17 little girls by loving families in India and abroad. Another 16 have been chosen by new parents and are waiting for all the legalities to go through before joining them.
Your trust and support also shows how a little bit from everyone goes a long way in restoring lives and completing families. Your donations helped abandoned babies and pregnant women have a fighting chance at a healthy life. They got the required vaccinations, the nutritional needs were met and provided a safe shelter.
The funds raised have also helped shelter 13 pregnant teens, four of whom have already given birth to strong, healthy babies. Snehalaya continues to provide the girls with shelter, legal advice, counselling, nutrition and pre and post-natal care. Hit by a pandemic, estranged from their families – they needed all the love and support.
Our NGO partner Snehalaya runs an adoption centre called Snehankur where they nurture and care for all the babies awaiting adoption, whatever their medical status. Along with infants, Snehalaya also takes care of abandoned pregnant girls and women who need medical and nutritional care. It provides shelter, legal advice, counselling, nutrition and pre- and post-natal care to expectant mothers which includes minor girls. The organisation helps them in continuing their education and/or undertake the vocational training that will help them reintegrate back into society eventually.
Crowdfunding can change lives
Millions of infants are abandoned in India, each year, by their parents all too often for several reasons. Children are also forsaken when the mother is a rape victim or if the parents are extremely poor and do not have the basic means to raise the child. Children born with physical or mental handicaps or illness are also not accepted by their families.
That is when non-profits like Snehalaya come to their rescue. There are also many other non-profits who work tirelessly to ensure the underprivileged and marginalised have a better future. But they can only function in their roles through public support and funds. Any contribution to these fundraisers, no matter how small, will bring hope and change lives. Or you can start a fundraiser yourself to support a cause close to your heart. Thank you for caring!
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Samar is a Marketing Communications specialist and freelance writer. She has a master’s in marketing and creativity from ESCP Business School. She is an avid traveler and likes to write about technology, travel, wildlife and sustainability.