Simran, Mithlesh and the New Normal

Simran, a 15 year old teenager living in Delhi, lost her father to complications with AIDS. Her mother, soon after diagnosed with HIV while her father was still living, was simply unaware of how to support her family, keep herself healthy and raise a confident young woman in the middle of a seemingly hopeless condition. Om Prakash, Simran’s father, was referred to the Shalom Critical Care Center when his condition was at it’s worse and soon enrolled the family into the Shalom Delhi Home Based Care HOPE for AIDS partner. When Mithlesh (Simran’s mother) lost Om, she was shattered with the loss of her husband and overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of her daughter in the midst of her own illness with no extended family and no source of income. Enter the HFA Shalom family. After much counseling, mental, emotional and nutritional support, Mithlesh soon gathered the courage and strength to find work at the “Open Hands” shop. Simran, too, jumped in and began making tea kits to sell from home to bring in additional income. Opportunities for community involvement came in like a domino effect. Today, Simran, serves as a leader for the Peer Educator program at Shalom. She mentors, teaches and keeps herself accountable to makes choices of strength for a young woman rather than compromise. As Mithlesh and Simran carry on, together they have broken the cycle of risk for their family and are serving the community of Pahar Gunj well in lowering infection rates even further in India.

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