© Shuchi Kapoor
'Abandoned and happy' is a celebration of the human spirit against the odds.
Abandoned by their parents because they had AIDS, these children were lucky to be adopted by one man, Mr. Solomon, to live together in a shelter-home in Chennai. At first it was one such child and there were more, and then some more. The journey continued and he left his full time job to take care of his ever growing family which now comprises of 43 children and 5-6 caretakers, many, who have AIDS too and were raised there. While most younger children are not aware of their condition, the lives of the people at this shelter-home go on just like anyone else's. "Because that is the point. The fear of AIDS makes the disease bigger than it is. We have faced enough discrimination at schools for their admissions in spite of common knowledge that it doesn't spread even if you share your tiffin boxes! AIDS is mostly about managing health on a regular basis. Unless the attitude towards this disease changes, we will continue to live on the fringes like outcastes. I only hope to raise these children with the strength and calibre to take this journey ahead when I am no longer there."