Park Grove Methodist Church
DINDIGUL AIDS CONTROL SOCIETY – DACS
Anbagam Children’s Home
Annual Report 2014 to 2015
‘Uncle is a wonderful man who loves us all. Our foster mothers give us lots of love and care (the foster mothers are four women who are HIV positive and who live at the project to take care of the children). I like to play cricket and ball games with my friends, and watch the Disney Channel on TV.’
From giving love and care to children in the last few years of their lives Mr Thankachan’s focus has now expanded. The children who come to his project are expected to reach adulthood, and that causes him concern. Where can they live? How can they provide for themselves? He plans to address these problems with the building he is now erecting next to the DACS home. He plans to have two rooms there where he can live whilst, upstairs, there will be accommodation for the children when they reach the age of 18, one room for young women and one for young men.
There will also be a room where they can learn tailoring, and another where they can learn computer skills; they will then be able to work to help support themselves. The ability to work and bring some money back to the project will also be a great boost to the self-esteem of young people who are often shunned by Indian society.
The rooms will not be ready for when Kathiresan reaches his 18th birthday, but he plans to start making a contribution to the home which has done so much for him by getting a driving licence so that he can take the children to school or hospital, or do the shopping. Mohan, too, is looking forward to being an adult and giving back to the project which has been his home since its inception, and to the man who saved his life.
As well as the ongoing funding needed to care for the children in the DACS project and provide for their needs, Mr Thankachan is looking for assistance with his new building and facilities, for sewing machines and computers, for more private quarters for the young adults. It is wonderful to see what he has achieved, but we must not forget these children when they become adults, their needs are still there. I believe that the DACS project needs the continued support of JHC to ensure that these children get the best possible life in their difficult situation.
I hope that when I visit the project again I will see great progress made on the new building and facilities so that children like Kathiresan and Mohan can begin their adult lives there. And what about Jabanesan and Hasini? Who knows what the situation will be like when they reach adulthood eighteen years from now. But with the continued support of JHC and local donors I believe that DACS can only go from strength to strength and continue to be a model for all other HIV/AIDS
Anbagam remains a Home of Love at peace. In and around, the children play happily, vigorously and at high decibels, belying their condition but endorsing the regime which sustains that quality of life. The older school children return, change into casual clothes and after a few chores, settle to their homework.
This could be a children’s home anywhere – probably better than most – and due entirely to one man’s vision, backed by his own resources and those who care about children. Anything which makes this project secure and sustainable, as it grows into its future form, is both welcome and worthwhile.
Dorinda Balchin March 2015
Through the generous gifts of some of our supporters we were able to send extra support to DACS last year