BORIVILI, APRIL 8, 2011: Twenty members of Our Lady of Mercy Zone, Chikuwadi visited Mukta Jeevan, Asangaon, a home for HIV and Leprosy patients and their children. On reaching the home sister Babara and Nirmala gave us a warm welcome. The first thing that struck us was the picture of Fr. Anthony Alessi sdb at the entrance.
Sr. Urmila, took us to the workshop where the patients are given basic skills to sustain themselves such as shoe making, weaving and bag making. This also helps the patients to go back to their families and be productive members of society. A number of items were displayed which were made by the inmates like bed sheets, bags, candles, napkins, purses etc. Each of us eagerly picked up the items of our choice.
Our next visit was to the children’s home. The children were so glad to see us that they all greeted us with a welcome song. Fifty six children were undergoing HIV positive treatment. However, when it was time to exhibit their talent, their enthusiasm was no less than any normal healthy children. The children were happy and their behavior showed that how much effort the Sisters are putting in. We were impressed by the joy they manifested despite their illness.
Sr. Nirmala then escorted us to the home for the men and women who were suffering from Leprosy. These people ostracized by society and marginalized through no fault of theirs were living in a hope to start a fresh with dignity and pride. We spent some time singing hymns and listening to their problems.
Later in the afternoon we visited the home for the aged. We were so glad to meet a woman aged hundred and one years doing little things by herself. The inmates were so happy to see us and thanked us for our little gesture. Together, we sang a few Konkani songs. They were all so sweet and loving.
Finally we visited the home for the HIV positive men and women who were busy with their chores. But all was not over; Sr. Babara had a little surprise for us. In the area itself we were taken to a beautiful river side. An ideal place for family and group picnics. We were quite disappointed as we could not be there for long as we had to travel back to Borivli. Hopefully we can do so on our next visit.
Finally hats off to the Sisters at Mukta Jeevan, who are full of life. Very warm, affectionate and welcoming. The work they do is tremendous. Creating a dream for all the inmates’ to live long and make a new beginning. Truly living by God’s words “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me.” Mathew 25: 35-40