World Aids Day

Every year, on 1st December, we celebrate World Aids Day. Celebration of most people (not infected with HIV) would be limited to wearing a red ribbon or posting about it on Social Media. This year I got a chance to do something different. As a part of CSR, we visited Desire Society, an NGO, which takes care of HIV infected kids.

Until the visit, I had never thought about the plight of these kids. Aids for me was a serious disease, transmitted sexually or via needles and to child via mother. I knew that people infected with HIV suffered from low immunity, social stigma and early death. There has been no cure found to cure AIDS.

Desire Society was found in Hyderabad 12 years ago. They have 5 centres in India, Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam, Delhi & 2 in Mumbai (Goregaon & Vashi) The Vashi centres is for boys and Goregaon centre is for girls. They did have couple of boys with them as they did not want to separate them from their sisters. The centre is mainly to take care of the HIV infected kids, however, negative kids are also taken care of in case their siblings are positive and they do not want to separate them. I was happy to know at least the kids have some family around. The kids in this centre were as young as 5 year old. They are being told about their disease so that they co-operate while taking medicines. They are counselled by the hospitals as well as the NGO Volunteers.

The kids are mostly orphans, their parents have passed away due to HIV and they are abandoned by their relatives. The hospitals co-ordinate with the NGOs so that they can take the kids to the orphanages. The HIV infected kids have to undergo tests every month. They have to take medication twice a day, without fail, else the virus would multiply and deteriorate their health. With such heavy dosage they need proper nutrition. The caretakers feed them soaked almonds, Pediasure with milk twice a day and home cooked food. The kids require intense care as they get infected with cold, cough and fever easily. After taking so much care, they can live up to 35 years of age.

The kids look like normal kids. They have desires and aspirations like normal kids. Someone wants to be a nurse, someone a scientist and someone else, a hairstylist. They would also have a desire to get married and have a family of their own. My heart goes out to these kids.

On this World Aids day, I vow to help these kids in whatever way I can. Join me in this pledge. Together we can make life of these kids a bit easier / better.


Hariyali ki taraf rasta!

  • Forests are the renewable sources of nature
  • They are home to living creatures,
  • They contribute in maintaining biodiversity
  • They regulate the climate
  • They provide industrial timber and fuel,
  • They prevent and mitigate sudden freshets that lead to flooding

Afforestation is a proven method which contributes to environmental conservation, less-polluted industrial development and healthy community activation!!

Hariyali in Thane (near Mumbai), is one of the rare organisations in India which takes up this activity!

In 2008, we formed a Go Green committee at work. This committee consisted of members who were passionate about the environment & wanted to do something about conserving the same.

Initially we started sending emails about awareness & also arranged a small presentation. However, we wanted to do more! One of the members of the committee came across this NGO Hariyali. The chief founders of this NGO are Senior Citizens who were passionate just like us about environment but are actively involved in making this planet a little more greener.

Apart from other activities, they were also involved in Afforestation of an area in Bhavale, near Thane Nasik Highway. We planned to check it out one Saturday. The plantation activity was being done by NSS students & other corporate employees. We were amazed at the enthusiasm of the founders. Their agility in climbing up the hill ashamed us & made us realize how unfit we were.

We started with the plantation work after a short briefing. The Saplings had to be carried to the top of the hill, where they would be planted. At the end of the task, we were satisfied & decided to involve more colleagues in to this activity.

Initial Planter

Saplings being planted


Pilot Batch

The Proud Pilot Batch!

Since then, every year we manage to go there once. The plantation is done in monsoon, it drizzles most of the time & this activity became fun for all of us!

Planting saplings is not enough. We also need to protect the plants & see to it that they are growing properly. We also need water conservation so that plants don’t wilt during summers. Constructing bunds, ponds, etc is a part of the post plantation activity.

This year, post the tree plantation activity, we came to know about the hurdles the NGO is facing, especially shortage of volunteers & we decided to contribute more than once a year.

In the second visit of the year, we helped in digging up a pond & some of the members were also involved in creating saplings & sowing seeds. 15 Saplings were made by 6 year old daughter of a colleague! Catching them young, we are 😉

Weed Uprooters

Uprooting Weed

Pond Diggers

Digging Pond!

Seeds N Saplings

Sowing seeds & managing saplings!


All this is due to encouragement of our senior management. Without their support, it wouldn’t have been possible to sustain this activity for so many years.

After 6 years, the place has metamorphosed from a barren land to lush forest. We also feel proud that the forest contains some of the trees planted by us. Just like we are enjoying fruits of someone else’s labour, someone else will be enjoying fruits of our labour. It also feels great to give something back to nature!

Barren Land

In 2008 – The land was almost barren!

Lush Forest

In 2014 – It’s a lush forest!