Seema’s husband died of an immunodeficiency syndrome. After he passed, fifty-year-old Seema tested positive for HIV and has been on Antiretroviral therapy for thirteen years. Seema was always busy taking care of three small children and did not have the time to mourn her husband’s death. Seema is no stranger to hard work – she survived as a single mother in Delhi taking on odd jobs. Recently she has been working as a cook in three homes. She struggles with paying her rent and meeting the daily expenses for food and other necessities.
Two of her younger children also tested positive for HIV. Only Puneet, the eldest one, was spared. Seema looked to him for help at home but he got involved in fights and thefts and ended up with a jail sentence. Her second child, Neha, was a bright student and aspired to become a teacher someday, but sadly, had to leave school when she lost her eyesight (due to Cytomegalovirus infection – a complication of HIV). The youngest child, Manish also quit school after 9th grade when he got into drugs. Thankfully, after much counselling from the HBC (Home Based Counselling) team, he is on the mend.
Seema finds that working is not just a means of meeting her expenses, but is an opportunity for her to escape from her miseries for a short while. When it appeared that things could not get much worse, Covid 19 came along and with the lockdown, she lost her job.
Over the years, Shalom has had the joy of seeing Seema emerging stronger and stronger. There are days when she just comes to the OPD to vent her fears. There were days when she did not have enough to pay the monthly rent, and Shalom supported her financially. She speaks gratefully of the team at Shalom which has stood with her through all her trials. The way this mother has strived every day, even when she felt defeated, says a lot about her determination. We at Shalom continue to pray for Seema and her family because we know that is what gives her the greatest strength.
Shalom extends its gratitude to all the generous funders without whom we would not have been able to give this family the assistance they have required.