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Komal Panwar

Blogger & Singer

JWB Paints Cactus Pots With HIV+ Kids Of Rays NGO!

  • IWB Post
  •  December 1, 2016


Every year, December 1 is celebrated as World Aids Day. We had the best time in the world visiting the children at Rays Aasha Ki ek Kiran. On our way, I had a few questions in my mind. I realized that I didn’t know anything about their condition.

Were they weak all the time? Could they jump around and play? What kind of precautions did they have to take? Were they allowed to leave the premises at all? AIDS is a dangerous name as it is. And I’m pretty sure that most of us cringe at the thought of ever visiting them with a fear of being infected. Let us take this opportunity to clear the doubts we ever had about the condition.

Our concept, cACTus + is an initiative to put a giant mirror in front of each one of us to see how we treat these children as if they were cactus plants, while they are truly beautiful flowers. We are afraid of going near them with a fear to be pricked, and prefer keeping them at a safe distance.


We visited MGD Girls’ School and The Palace School, where we collected few pots of cactus plants. Then we took some empty pots to Rays, where the wonderful children were asked to make faces on them, just like how they would look if they were plants!


At MGD School


At Palace School

When we reached Rays with a load of pots, paint, glitter, fevicol, and ribbons, the children surrounded us and quickly took some pots and bags off our hands to help us out. They escorted us down to the basement. Each of them extended their hands to greet us.

“Hello didi”, said one.

“Namaste didi”, called another.

“Namaste, sir”, another one cheered.

With their chirpy eyes, and enthusiastic gestures, we further fuelled up.

I was surprised to see how all of them looked fit and fine, I also had been fed with the stereotype that they were different from the rest of us. They were lovely, some of them got us water, some quickly turned the light switches on.

The older ones scolded the younger ones who were being mischievous just the way we do.

We all got together and spread out the daris on the floor. The children were well mannered, attentive and at the same time keen to listen to what we were saying. Some of them were in their school uniforms, others would change later.

Dr. Sudhir Sharma distributed chalks to the children, and divided them into groups of twos and threes. Being a doctor, he explained to me how science has progressed in the past few years and now it is possible for the infected people to live long lives. He added that their lives have now become much easier, and compared to other severe diseases, much less precautions need to be taken.


The children began drawing eyes, noses and mouth with their chalks.


Some were more artistic, and drew complete faces with ears and hair.


Some girls drew their future selves, and how they’d apply makeup on their faces.


Once they were finished with drawing, we handed over paintbrushes to them!


They dripped, they messed up, but they created their masterpieces!


At the end, just to add to the awesomeness, we asked them if they’d like to use ribbons on their pots. Many of them agreed, jumping. Just like every other child.

There were hands shooting up in the air, kids calling out to us for ribbons. Then a little girl, who was also called Komal, made roses out of ribbons for everyone sitting there. They stuck their ribbons to the top of the heads of their faces like headlights! As cute as they looked, we couldn’t stop smiling. We wanted to pack them all up and take them home with us. Just like any other children.


Komal walked up to me and extended out her tiny hand that tightly held out a rose made out of ribbon.

Ye aapke liye”

I almost jumped in joy, said thank you and patted her on her back.

It was then time to take the pots back to the schools. But, our hearts are still stuck at Rays, we can’t wait to visit Narendra, Komal, Ghanshyam and the rest of them again!


We found the love that we search for everyday, at Rays. Yes they’re special, they are the special flowers. Just like we are.IMG_7032

The fun is not over, though. Stay tuned for another heart warming cACTus story tomorrow!

P.S. If you wish to help Rays Aasha Ki ek Kiran to embrace more such children with care and love, extend your hand here.

Photo Courtesy – Himanshu Goel

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