Accepting Oneself and Finding Confidence
Lakshmi is 14 years old, studying in seventh standard. She lives with her mother, older sister and younger brother after her fathers death. Apart from her older sister, all members in the family are HIV positive.
When Lakshmi first joined the programme she was very shy, very withdrawn, reluctant to even participate in the activities or talk to her peers. During one to one interactions with the Samraksha team, she opened up about her feelings regarding her own health and her HIV status. She was disturbed because of her status and wondered why she was affected and why she had to take medicines all through her life. Often she wondered why she had acquired the infection while her older sister had not.
With more and more regular contact with the team and a chance to talk about her feelings, she realized that she need not be limited by her condition. She started looking at her HIV status as one aspect of her life which she had to manage. Gradually her participation in the sessions improved. She started taking an interest in activities, even helping other participants in some activities.
There were many gaps in her education because of her ill health, and she was even struggling with basic literacy in Kannada. When Samraksha offered to link her with a local volunteer who would help her with her reading and writing, she leapt to the opportunity. She has regularly been attending classes with the volunteer and has picked up on basic reading and writing. She is regularly reaching out to the Samraksha team sharing about her learnings, and wanting to learn more and more.