A Hope to Live

Nepal lies on the north eastern border of India. Every year more than 60,000 Nepalese migrate to India in search of job opportunities and a better standard of living, half of them migrating to Mumbai itself. For them it’s a dream metropolitan, it’s the city of lights, the city of stars and Bollywood.

Mumbai has one of the highest rates of HIV infections in India. Around 50% of Nepalese, who migrated to Mumbai city for a better living sadly are misled into illegal actions like prostitution and drug related activities. Unfortunately for them their high aspiring dreams turn into nightmares. Most of these women contract the HIV virus by indulging in unprotected sex, multiple partners and infected syringes.

Family Health International is a world organization which has centers operating in more than 70 countries around the globe, with 15 health care centers in Mumbai city itself. Dealing with HIV and reproductive health related problems, this international organization under its many projects has undertaken the objective of providing health facilities to these HIV infected Nepalese migrants.

“We concentrate on providing them with three things – medical checkups, free medicine dosage and counseling,” said Mr. Anup Gurung, the head of USAID/IMPACT, the project undertaken for the Nepali migrants. But the job doesn’t end here – the actual challenge is yet to come. The people are brought to these centers through a very strong networking between the centers and the Nepalese emigrant population built through years .

The main problem these people face is not the virus but the incapability and unwillingness to cope up with the disease. Once tested positive, they are given their monthly dosage but hardly 10% of
them come again to collect their next month’s dosage. They get demoralized and depressed after getting diagnosed. The depression they face is also due to the side-effects of the medicines consumed by them.