18 Apr, 2024

This narrative follows Subhashini, currently a twelfth-grade student at a government higher secondary school in Vellarivelli. Subhashini became part of the Enlight program in 2016, during her fifth-grade year. Raised in a single-parent household and residing in a remote village with limited resources, Subhashini has encountered numerous challenges since being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Expressing gratitude, Subhashini emphasized the vital role of the Enlight Team in providing support and strength to overcome these obstacles.

Subhasini was diagnosed with HIV during her childhood, and tragically, her father also succumbed to the same illness. Raised by her mother, who worked as a daily wage laborer in agriculture, Subhasini faced financial hardship and societal discrimination due to her health condition. She had to travel 5 kilometers every month to reach the ART center in Edapadi for her medication, and an additional 12 kilometers to attend school. However, her village lacked essential facilities like a library, making it challenging for Subhasini to seek additional educational support. To overcome this, she required a smartphone to access study materials and seek clarification remotely. Limited access to healthcare facilities in her village posed further challenges for managing her health, compounded by her family’s financial constraints, which made it difficult to afford medication and a nutritious diet. Despite these adversities, Subhasini remained steadfast in her commitment to attend school regularly.

The Enlight Project team provided emotional support through e-counseling sessions and frequent home visits, offering motivation and guidance as Subhashini pursued her education. These sessions empowered her to tackle challenges, bolstering her confidence, self-esteem, and overall perspective. Additionally, the team facilitated Subhashini’s access to essential healthcare services and equipped her with a smartphone, enabling her to utilize online educational resources, virtual classrooms, and educational applications. Furthermore, they engaged with Salem General Hospital and healthcare institutions to ensure Subhashini received free medications and regular health check-ups.

Despite facing health obstacles, Subhashini experienced a remarkable academic improvement under the guidance and continuous support of the project team. She not only excelled academically but also demonstrated leadership skills and resilience by actively engaging in extracurricular activities. Subhashini’s journey underscores the transformative power of education and steadfast support in overcoming adversity. With the collective efforts of her Enlight Project team and healthcare partners, she emerged as a beacon of inspiration for other children navigating similar challenges. Her narrative emphasizes the significance of empathy, compassion, and project team involvement in fostering an inclusive educational environment for all students, regardless of their health condition or social circumstances. Subhashini’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact of education and human kindness, continuing to inspire others along the way.