Savita and her shadow celebrate her birthday
Happy New Year from Snehalaya!
We hope you are safe and healthy as we enter 2022. Omicron cases are on the rise here in India and like many in the world restrictions are again being imposed to prevent a strain on our heath services. With over one billion vaccinations delivered to the nation, for now, life at Snehalaya remains relatively normal. Let's hope it stays this way. We are staying positive and on that note would like to share the story of one of our unique caregivers.
Savita comes from a troubled past, ill-treated by her near and dear ones. Facing so much abuse often led her to suicidal thoughts, and strangers saved her multiple times. Leaving all this behind to find a place where such memories would not trouble her was indeed a challenge, but, fortunately, in 2008, she came to Snehalaya. She was in terrible health and in need of urgent medical attention. She was immediately admitted to our hospital (then a Community Care Center), where she was given proper medical care and medicines. Gradually her condition improved, and she expressed her desire to work in Snehalaya. After undergoing adequate rest, she was responsible for running Snehalaya’s Rehab Center kitchen.
Savita was quite fond of cooking and enjoyed feeding the children in our Rehab Center campus. Impressed by her dedication, she was given a specialized job cooking for more minor children below five years of age with specific nutritional needs. Preparing healthy and tasty food was a challenge that she took up with enthusiasm.
Our Snehankur adoption center rescues abandoned newborn babies and infants, some of whom have been born with HIV/AIDS. Until a few years ago, when the Government opened the doors to them for international adoptions, such children were ignored by adoptive parents and left in the care of our organization. With the adoption process taking much longer for them, we wanted to provide a more stable environment with the specialized care and treatment and unconditional love they require.
It was decided to open a dedicated unit for them in our Rehab Center, and Savita was a natural choice to care for them, and she was happy and honored to volunteer to do so. Living in a smaller room with the youngsters, she has her cooking facilities to continue her passion for cooking and provide them with supplemental nutritional needs. She becomes their mother and can often be seen taking her small charges to our playground, kitchen, and events and has a whole range of toys to develop them through play within their room.
Despite the natural attachments that are formed. Savita was pleased when our first HIV-positive baby was adopted by American parents in 2019, ensuring a bright future for the little boy. His parents were so grateful for the care and love she gave their son while they were waiting for him that they have stayed connected, regularly sending her photo and video updates showing his growth and transition to becoming an American, which make her day.
She is currently caring for another little girl, who will soon become our second HIV+ adoptive child and again, Savita is excited and happy to see her join her new family. We know that Savita, directly thanks to our children, is happy and healthy and reaches the developmental milestones to help them adjust to their new families and flourish in their futures.
We are incredibly grateful that Savita found Snehalaya, and in return, we found a caring mother for our babies and children. Savita is now an irreplaceable part of Snehalaya. Fondly called ‘Tai’ or elder sister by all, Savita says, ‘Sometimes the bonds of love and care are stronger than blood relations or those formed by religious formalities.’
Snehalaya has many such caregivers and hidden heroes who form a solid foundation of our work and equal love for all our children regardless of their histories and medical conditions. Your support goes a long way to encourage and support their development and skills in creating these loving and postive environments for our young charges, Thank you for being there for us, Savita and our babies.