Manavya's Gokul has at present 58 born HIV positive orphan children
Manavya's GOKUL project is perhaps the first orphanage started in India for HIV positive children. Manavya is located on a 1/2 acre land, purchased with donor funds, at Matalwadi, Bhugaon about 12 Km from Pune. The activities of Gokul started at Bhugaon in 1999. What began in a tin shed built to house the children has become, with the help of donors, a building with four dormitories for the children, a kitchen and a dining room.
The dormitories are maintained not only to provide the basic amenities but also to give the children a sense of home. The walls are painted with beautiful pictures. Every child has a separate bed. Each dormitory has one house mother who take care of children. Each dormitory has attached toilet block and a changing room.
On the same floor is the kitchen and the store room for food items. There is a dining room attached to the kitchen. The food is prepared in the kitchen by the two cooks and these cooks are helped by the house mothers and the older children.
As they receive Anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment the children need a special high protein diet that supports the treatment. The nutrition for the day is delivered through the various meals during the day - Morning Kheer, Breakfast, Lunch, Mid-day meal, Snacks, and Dinner. To supplement the diet, honey, dates and almonds are included to enhance their immune system. Honey and Kokam syrup have helped manage skin infections which are a common side effect of the medication.
ARV treatment & medical care
Out of 57 children 39 children are on Ist line ARV treatment,9 children are on -2nd line treatment and 9 children do not require any ARV treatment because of good CD4 count. CD4 in the blood is the indication of HIV infection. Higher the count is better.
The children undergo following pathological/medical tests at regular intervals
- CD4 count
- Liver function test(LFT)
- Chest X Ray
- Spitoon test
These children are susceptible to opportunistic infections. These children need frequent hospitalisation for these infections. Earlier we needed to take these children about 20 km away for hospitalisation in Govt hospitals for every small problem. Hence we have started day care hospital called NIRAMAY MEDICAL CENTRE for the children. In this centre the sick child is admitted for the day. If the child requires advance medical treatment then, the child is shifted to the government hospital. While the child is admitted in the hospital one house mother & one attendent accompanies the child in the hospital. We have a residential nurse available all the 24 hours. The doctor is available for the day. Visiting doctor visits and checks sick children every evening.
The paediatric specialist visits once a week to look after the children.
Each and every child is having his one personal & one medical file whch are maintained regularly. Thus enuogh data is available for all the children regarding child's development in medical, educational, emotional,cultural and personal development of child.
Education & vocational training
A primary school was run by Manavya for the standards 1 -7 in Gokul premises from year 1999 to 2010. After 2010 we have succeeded in handing over the running of school to Zilla Parishad ( a local government body). Manavya has only given them the premises to use without any rent.
After 7 th standard the children go to private schools situated in Pune about 10 kms from Gokul. Here children up to 10 th standard. In this schools in Pune children are exposed to outside world and get vital energy and a broad perspective. Here children take part in various inter school sports,cultural competitions, science model making exhibitions. We are proud to say that in spite of HIV virus these children excel in these competitions. They play various games especially cricket which is the most popular sport in India.
Vocational training is the need of the hour Manavya children must graduate for Manavya with some special skills so that they can become self sufficient fast and become asset for the society and not the liability. Every child has come to Manavya because he/she is a liability and we are proud that when he goes out of Manavya at the age of 18 is asset to the society.
Apart from curricular activities following vocational facilities are developed in Manavya
- Card file making
- Fashion designing
- Computer Training
- Plant nursery training
For some of the courses we send our children to local training institutes in Pune City for training in
- Mobile phone repairing
- A/C & refrigeration technician
- Advanced course in fashion designing