Society refused to accept kids with AIDS, this man decided to lift them up

Mahesh was a college-going student in 2008. He and his friends had an amazing habit – the habit of celebrating their birthdays in hospitals among those who were in need. 

One fine day, they celebrated their birthday in the children’s ward. While distributing fruit there, Mahesh encountered a four-year-old boy named Rupesh in Belagavi, Karnataka. He typically questions them about their names, issues, and the length of time they spent in the hospital. 

He also asked Rupesh the same question. His mother informed him that her kid has AIDS and is HIV positive while she sat next to him. Mahesh and his pals were astounded at how such a small youngster could have this issue. Realising the issue was grave, Mahesh was adamant about doing something, and he………..

Extended a helping hand

Today, Mahesh Jadhav is the proud founder of the Mahesh Foundation.

The Foundation was established in 2008 to improve the lives of children who are medically fragile and from low-income families. The Foundation offers HIV-positive and poor children a place to live, food, medical care, and education. Over 2200 people have directly benefited from the Foundation’s Care Home.

​As per the Foundation, the Community Support programme positively affects the lives of 42000 families that are socially disadvantaged and HIV-positive families. Additionally, more than 3 lakh high school and college students were more knowledgeable. aided in the education of 24000 disadvantaged kids.

The task was not easy

Early on, Mahesh, along with his friends, used to help these kids with their own pocket money.  They used to give them money for travel and food and sometimes help them buy school kits. 

However, there was a moment that left a deep impact on Mahesh. In 2010, when he met the child Rupesh again, Rupesh’s mother was no more with him, and he was living the life of an orphan. When Mahesh tried for his admission, Rupesh was denied entrance to the government orphanage. However, they received a denial, claiming that the child has AIDS and will spread the disease to fellow children.

In the words of Mahesh: “Every HIV-positive child has the right to live an independent and dignified life.”

Along similar lines, some of the programmes by the Mahesh Foundation include:

  • Care Home: The Mahesh Foundation improves the lives of children with medical conditions by giving them a place to live, food to eat, healthcare, and education, as well as love, care, and emotional support.
  • Education (Utkarsha): On the outskirts of Belagavi in Kanabargi, the Utkarsha Learning Center opened its doors to 98 medically fragile and disadvantaged kids in 2018. The school’s mission is to provide these kids with a stigma- and discrimination-free learning environment.
  • Health: The Mahesh Foundation is constructing a 100-bed charitable hospital with the goal of assisting disadvantaged members of society in receiving free, high-quality medical care.
  • Outreach and advocacy: The program’s main goal is to get in touch with HIV-positive men and women and give them access to healthcare and support to enrol in various government programmes. This initiative aims to contact more than 5,000 people annually in the cities and towns near Belagavi.

To raise knowledge and encourage safe sex, the Foundation frequently holds various awareness events in schools, colleges, and other venues. The initiative has directly and positively influenced more than 1500 families’ lives over the past ten years.

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