Rajib Thomas lovingly called as Papa Reji, by his 22 adopted children who are HIV positive. He is an ordinary man who did extraordinary things and proved that he is his kid’s hero.
All of these kids have been living with 44-year-old Thomas along with his wife and two biological kids since a decade.
How it all started?
“It was in the year 2007, I met a girl lying outside a hospital who was also an HIV positive patient. I asked her what she wanted to eat, she replied noodles. Though I couldn’t arrange for what she asked on that day, I managed to get her that on the very next day. But I realized she was no more as she passed away the previous night,” said Mr. Rajib Thomas.
It was then he decided that he should do something for all those HIV positive patients who were abandoned by their parents only because they are HIV infected.
He later spoke Divya Mithale who is an HIV/AIDS specialist who helped him to adopt those abandoned children. At first, she arranged for him to take two newborn babies.
It was in 2009, he rented a big house to accommodate his family who included his wife, their two kids along with the two newborns.
Later on, people recognized his efforts and then started donating beds, food, and money to help them out.
Eventually, his family started expanding and now the number counts 22 kids.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the support and efforts of his wife Mini. She cooks all the three meals of the day for all the kids. She says: “We make sure none of the kids feel left out, we scold them like our kids and love them equally.”
Papa Reji aka Rajib Thomas exclaimed: “These kids call me papa and I’m not doing anything great as it any other father’s duty to take care of his child.”