HIV positive children

Rajib Thomas: Father of 22 HIV positive children


The world is full of hatred as well as kindness. In Mumbai, when parents chose to abandon their HIV positive children at the mercy of God, this man Rajib Thomas (45) adopts them to give them a new life.
Rajib Thomas from Mumbai has adopted 22 such HIV positive children. All these children reside in the same home along with his wife and two of his biological children.  His wife Mini Reji looks after their food and routine requirements while Rajib Thomas takes responsibility of their education and health.

That Incident

Rajib is known among these children as Papa Reji, but his life was different before starting this home for HIV children. He narrates about an incident that changed course of his life.
“It was in 2007 when I was going somewhere and suddenly a young girl, clad in torn cloths, came to me begging for food. I told her that I will provide her food but not today. Very next day I went to that place but she was not there. I asked people who used to stay around about her. Sadly, she had passed away due to HIV.”
This incident shook him so deeply that he couldn’t come out of the trauma for many weeks.
“I talked to my wife and we decided to move in a bigger house. From that day we have started adopting those children who are abandoned by their parents.
“I feel proud when I say that my family consists of 24 members and we are living together with love. They are HIV positive, but don’t mean they have to compromise with their happiness.
“I want to give them a long life that’s only what I want from my life,” said Papa Reji.

His work

Before adoption of children he was living in Navi Mumbai with his wife and two of their biological kids. Earlier they had to do a lot of struggle, he describes: “Because of space crunch in our old house, I took a house on rent at Navi Mumbai in year 2009. We, my wife, my two children and two HIV positive children moved in.
“Initially, we felt difficulties like we could hardly afford one bed on which all four children used to sleep. Later, when our family got few more members it became really hard to adjust without basic amenities.
“After few months when people started recognising our efforts, we got donations like grains, beds, money, food etc. Now we are 24 members family living under one roof.”
Rajib and his wife equally treat all these children. Mini Reji said, “We don’t let any of kid feel left out ever. We love and scold them equally.”
Has she ever felt any disgrace over touching a HIV positive person, she replied: “No, not any stigma or shame I have ever felt. It can be a phobia for one, for me they are my family. We also educate our biological children about myths on HIV and make them fully aware of this disease.”

Future Plan


Rajib is looking at adopting more children and keen to provide them a happy life. Apart from this, he wants to spread awareness about HIV. He believes that children who are infected with HIV syndrome need not to cut their life short. They can live as a normal person.
“All these children call me Papa, how can I break their trust when they love me like my own children. I will never deviate from my ideology thus it will be my fortune if people will adopt such children.”

Sushma Varma: India's youngest M.Sc holder at 15

When children struggle to get admission in school at the age of 5, Sushma was entering in 9th standard. She is India’s child prodigy who has completed her M.SC at age of 15. Sushma Varma a resident of village Bargawan at district Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Sushma has been a brilliant child and her talent got recognised when she was just two years old. Today she is 17 and planning to pursue PHD in microbiology. Sushma would be youngest Indian who will get admission in microbiology PHD. Her father is a sanitation worker in the same University where she was pursuing M.Sc.

Sushma Varma’s Bio-

About Sushma Varma

At the age of four, her class teacher asked her to read something from the text book. She stood up and clearly recited Ramayana, which she had heard a night before. Class teacher was surprised and asked her to read something from the text book.
She just wanted to clarify what she has heard from Sushma was not a day dream. But, much to the surprise of the teachers, Sushma again read clearly like a teenage student. Teachers gave her some mathematics questions, and asked her some chemistry formulas and few other tricky questions which Sushma solved within few seconds.
Now her teachers were impressed and recognised her talent. As per her IQ, the school decided to admit Sushma in class IX. Sushma’s father Tej Bahadur said: “Four years ago I was working as a daily wages labourer in Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (Central) University. When Sushma cleared her inter school she got admission in the same college where I was working as a labour.” “My daughter is brilliant and her talent couldn’t hide even in this college.
When teachers found that  I worked as a daily wage labour they offered me a job of permanent sanitation worker in the college. I am proud of her and feel blessed because of my daughter,” Tej Bahadur said excitedly. According to him, Dr R V Sobti, the Vice-Chancellor of Sushma’s college helped him secure the job in the college campus, so that he could support his talented daughter.


Her brilliance does not just shine in India, but she was invited for an IQ test in Japan where she competed with 35 other students of her age and stood first. Because of her financial condition, Sushma was also given a grant of Rs. 8 Lakh by Sulabh’s chief Dr Bindeshwari Pathak for her higher education. When she was seven, she got listed in the Limca Book of Records for being the ‘youngest student’ to clear class 10th exams.
Sushma is not the only prodigy of her family. Her brother is equally talented as he completed his BCA at the age of 14. He became youngest student to complete science degree at this age. Apart from this, her younger sister, three years old, can already read poems written for graduate level students.

Future Plan

Regarding her future plans, Sushma says: “I now want to pursue PhD, perhaps in agricultural microbiology. During our field visits, we realised that the soil in and around Lucknow is becoming more arid by the day, so I would like to try and find out a way to make the city greener.”