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RAYS - Aasha ki Ek Kiran

In Conversation with Vice President Shweta Khurana !

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HOW DID RAYS BECOME A PART OF YOUR LIFE?

Rays Aasha Ki Kiran was founded by Captain Gurinder Virk and Rashmi Kuchhal in 2010. I joined Rays 4 years ago when my husband’s Job brought us to Jaipur (from Mumbai). I ran a school catering business, which got me an opportunity to volunteer at Rays (in a camp). I found myself so attached to  RAYS and the wonderful people here that I told my husband about not wanting to leave Jaipur. It was with his support, that we are now settled here. I have 2 school going Children and I get to spend quality time with the kids at RAYS.

TELL US ABOUT RAYS?

RAYS is a home to 53 HIV+ children. It is unfortunate that these children are not allowed to live with other positive kids. RAYS started this noble cause with 3 kids in a small room and now we have expanded to two houses, where we provide food, shelter and education to these 53 children (40 boys and 13 girls). Apart from kids, 10 care-taking and housekeeping staff that manage the shelter are also positive. 

The intention is to empower these individuals, make them feel loved so that they can all thrive in a healthy atmosphere, where they are accepted and don’t feel rejected or as if they are outcasts. The age group of our children at RAYS is 6-18 years. We may require special permission from the government, to keep the elder children until they start earning for themselves. RAYS receives close to 20-25% of medicinal expenses only from the Government of Rajasthan. 

WHAT DOES A DAY AT RAYS LOOK LIKE?

The daily routine of the children and the care taking staff includes yoga, sports, workshops for different activities like photography, mehandi, computer courses etc. We celebrate all the festivals irrespective of the religion and instil the understanding of diversities. Those who have and are accepted by their families/relatives get to visit with them twice in a year. For 2 weeks during summer vacations and for 1 week during Diwali festival. 

All our children are enrolled in a private School and they are excelling in academics as well as extra-curricular activities. Every year, our children bag awards from school in various categories. These kids are a great source of inspiration and strength to all of us!

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