View Full Version : Why this pic should make us all proud (moving story)

Dec 17th, 2006, 04:17 AM
THEN : Angel on the streets with her ailing mother and grandfather who wanted to sell her.
On October 25, we printed this picture below of a desperately poor man willing to sell his grand daughter so that he could fund his ailing daughter's treatment. Mirror reader Lillian Smith was so moved by his story that she not only got treatment for the HIV+ Jyoti but also decided to take care of the child whom she christened Angel.

On Saturday, Jyoti passed away, secure in the knowledge that Angel is in good hands. In an exclusive account, Lillian talks about how in these last two months she was ostracised by friends and relatives for taking in the infant, and also the great joy that only angels can bring.

A month ago, a photograph that appeared in Mumbai Mirror shook my heart. The picture taken outside the Inlak hospital in Chembur was that of a frail man sitting by the side of his ailing daughter. Lying beside the girl was her six-month-old daughter. The man wanted to sell his drand-daughter to raise money to treat his daughter who was suffering from TB.
After reading the report, I rushed to the spot and took the girl, Jyoti, and her daughter to the Shivaji Hospital in Kalva. What happened after this is what I wish to share with you all.

I requested the doctors to examine Jyoti and the baby. Jyoti’s test revealed that she was HIV+ve. It was also clear that she was carrying the virus when she was pregnant. However, doctors said the baby had tested negative for HIV, but another test would have to be conducted when she was 18 months.

As Jyoti was not in a position to take care of her baby, she requested me to take care of her. “Aap meri bacchi ko apne paas rakh lo aur iska dhyan rakhna,” (Please keep my baby with you and take good care of her), were her exact words.

I took the baby home. It was a beautiful feeling. We named her Angel. My four children — two sons and two daughters — were thrilled.

But I was in for some rude shocks. The hospital staff was not very cooperative and friends and relatives suddenly began behaving strangely.

I visited the hospital daily. When Jyoti was in a position to speak, she confided in me that the nurses were rude to her and often refused to touch her or give her medicine. She pleaded that I take her away from there. When her condition stabilised, I shifted her to the tuberculosis hospital in Sewri. I continued visiting her and also put a picture of Angel by her side. I wanted her to know that the little one was safe and happy.

At my end, however, there was a different story unfolding. Some newspapers had reported Jyoti’s HIV +ve status and I was flooded with calls from friends and relatives. They all wanted me to get rid of Angel. When I argued that she was not HIV +ve, they would get upset and begin fighting with me.

I will not name the people who abused me because the idea is not to offend people close to me. One family in Vashi that had stood by me in times of crises too turned its back on me. This was one family that had provided me moral, emotional and financial support in my social work. I was shattered.

But I was not going to give in. By God’s grace my husband and children were with me. I knew I had nothing to fear. It’s been more than a month and some of closest relatives and friends have had no contact with me.
I understand the stakes are high. Most of the people who have fought with me refuse to understand that Angel has tested negative. They say that sooner or later she will be HIV+ve. Even a doctor, a family friend, suggested that I put Angel in an orphanage.
This pic was taken just days after Lillian brought Angel home
I want to tell these people that Angel, as of now, is not HIV+ve. Even if she were, it would make no difference. But since she is born to a mother who was HIV+ve during pregnancy, another test is required when she is eighteen months old to rule out any possibility of her being HIV+ve.

And there is one more thing I want to tell everyone — Angel is a bundle of joy and she has brought a new light into our lives.

It hurts to write all this, but I hope people understand. HIV does not spread by taking care of people. What spreads this way is only love.


Dec 17th, 2006, 04:31 AM
she deserves all the praise in the world. the people who have shunned this beautiful person should feel ashamed.

Dec 17th, 2006, 06:35 AM
she deserves all the praise in the world. the people who have shunned this beautiful person should feel ashamed.I agree. that wonderful woman is a Saint! in my eyes. But I also know how family can turn it's back on you, and I empathize with her. She will become an even stronger woman of conviction for it. I wish that there were more stories like this being reported throughout the world. :worship:

Dec 17th, 2006, 08:09 AM
A beautiful, yet extremely sad story. It moved me :sad: Beautiful baby :hearts:

Dec 17th, 2006, 10:53 AM
:sad: poor jyoti.

but i hope the baby is tested negative during the next check up.