Snehalaya has started a well-equipped comfortable shelter devoid of daily taunts & torment where they may serenely live for a minimum 1 year and maximum 3 years. The Project focuses on solving the problem with the help of the following:
1. To provide a free-of-cost temporary home with food, clothing, medications for one to three years
2. To create self-esteem, self-respect and confidence among the People living with HIV/AIDS patient.
3. To provide physical as well as mental health-care facilities.
4. To provide vocational skills and assist in employment (Also create in-house job opportunities).
5. To provide good quality education to their children.
6. Advocacy of legal rights and sensitization about HIV/AIDS.
7. To provide a well-equipped residential facility with families being provided houses and singles being accommodated in dormitories.
8. To provide high-quality nutritious food.
9. To provide facilities like entertainment, library, study room, multi-religion place of worship & meditation centre, Dish T.V. and internet facilities, a common room, a garden, park, Yoga, indoor as well as outdoor games, and other recreational activities.
10. To provide a secure environment.
11. To arrange marriages of eligible bachelors & spinsters.
12. To do advocacy on the issues of the inhabitants to Government, media, society to ensure paradigm changes in perceptions.
13. Creating a strong network and building up a mass support movement towards a society empathetic towards the people living with HIV/AIDS patient and sex workers.
It isn’t easy for the HIV/ AIDS afflicted patients to face the social stigma attached to this “closet disease”. This has apparently created a new caste of untouchables, where they are denied basic human rights and stripped of any dignity- both at home and their workplaces! HIV patients undergo unimaginable mental, physical, emotional psychic pain, often compounded by the social boycott of their families. This is indeed a pity because most of the women and children afflicted by HIV or AIDS are usually innocent and are victims of crimes of others. The need of the hour is to create a homely care shelter dedicated to such deprived HIV patients especially from the low-income group, regardless of their caste, creed, religion, language, region, sex, age.
A series of heart-wrenching experiences against HIV patients resulted in the conceptualisation of Snehalaya’s most ambitious project – Himmatgram. Spread across 28-acre plot at Islak village near Ahmednagar, this initiative is a revolution in empowering HIV patients. At Himmatgram, families of the patients live with the volunteers who help in undertaking agricultural activities and dairy farming. It's a colony for at least 400 people (patients, their families as well as rehabilitating victims) with a multi-religion place of worship, a meditation centre, vocational training facilities, de-addiction programme etc. This Himmatgram project is foreseen to be a source of inspiration worldwide for people fighting AIDS.