Sewing The Way Forward

Muslim Hands Livelihoods Projects help HIV positive Atul Raghaw in India begin his life afresh with a stable and regular income

Atul Raghaw can begin his life afresh with a stable and regular income

"When the wheels of the machine started I could see the beads of sweat running down his forehead and his hands shivering. His wife stayed quiet, sat in the corner her gaze fell across the room observing the whole situation. His children were jumping around with glee saying how ecstatic they were to see their father earning in a 'good' way. They were more used to seeing him with thick canula in his veins, lying helplessly on the couch letting his blood out in exchange for money. Today he was lying there, tired yet content.

"This is what I saw in the house of Atul Raghaw. Atul was a professional blood seller in Delhi, India where 2.5 million Indians are living with HIV with the known number increasing at an alarming rate. Atul, like many in the blood selling trade, says his one and only motivation is to provide an income for his family. He has many stories to tell of the illegal organisation of people to sell plasma, the pressure he felt to sell blood to illegal blood banks and the serious malpractice he has seen from the people supervising the blood market. Already suffering from HIV, Atul became even weaker since he was constantly letting blood to sell and this took its toll on his body and physical state. Lost were Atul's long-dead talent for tailoring and handicraft and any possibility of using them as a means of income."

MH India has been running the HIV & AIDS prevention campaign throughout Southern India where the rates of the disease are greatest. After being visited by an MH country worker, Murtaza Sahil, Atul was advised of the options available to him. Atul told us he always had a keen eye for design and a creative streak which was encouraged by his parents, but never the means to turn this into a livelihood for his family.

Through our livelihoods scheme, Atul was given a motorised sewing machine, equipment and business advice on facing customers and how to take orders for garments. As part of the HIV & AIDS prevention programme, Atul also had the opportunity to engage in workshops and seminars on raising awareness around HIV & AIDS to schools and community leaders. Muslim Hands HIV & AIDS prevention programme involves raising community awareness, medical screening and treatment for high-risk individuals, livelihoods support for victims and counselling for sufferers and their families.

Help ensure individuals are given a full screening and enable treatment to commence for sufferers with Muslim Hands Great Charity Gifts: Great Charity Gifts.