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An Exclusive Restaurant to Appease the Culinary Needs of HIV/AIDS Patients

Setting aside all inhibitions to maintain a contact with people suffering with dreaded diseases, Aadhar (or, Base), a charitable trust, is running a restaurant that caters nutritious food for the HIV/AIDS patients here.

Managed by HIV+ individuals, Aadhar has been running the restaurant as community kitchen outlet since January (2007).

It all started with the Founder Shraddha Betai hitting upon an idea to do something for the HIV/AIDS patients most of whom are often found deprived of nutritious food due to illness.

Sharddha Betai says: "The patients get the drugs easily but very often they do not get proper nutrition they require. Food is the basic requirement. So I gave a thought to it and that's how the entire concept of developing this project originated."

Varsha Vala, the President of Aadhar Charitable Trust, is herself an HIV-positive for the last 15 years.

She lives with her family--two sons and husband. The day when she learnt that she was HIV+, life seemed to have reached its end for her. But since joining Aadhar, she has stopped thinking in such extreme terms. Today, she is busy helping others having HIV/AIDS.

Varsha Vala says: "We have six to seven people. Nutrition department provides us with the vegetables and then our cooks prepare the food for the patients. There are many people who give us voluntary services and we don't need to pay the cooks, we just provide them with travel expenses."

Many patients lives have transformed after getting associated with Aadhar.

Ramesbhai, one of the members of Aadhar, says: "I had lost all hopes till I came in touch with Aadhar. I was in such a trauma that I even thought of committing suicide at one point of time. This organisation has helped me a lot by giving me emotional support. Now I want to live,"

Today, with over 600 registered members, Aadhar is trying to make a difference in the lives of around 1,000 HIV/AIDS infected patients in and around the city.


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