When 40-year-old Kaya Mehta (name changed) from New Delhi walked into the HIV matrimony meet on Sunday, she was apprehensive of the entire endeavour.
But the HIV positive patient is now going home with a smile and a feeling of assurance as she has found a person she can open up to.
Like Kaya, over 95 people who attended the meet at the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO), came empty handed, but went back with a support system that might later turn into their life partners helping them live a happier life in future.
People from across the state, as well as other parts of the country attended the noble meet on Sunday. Some even travelled all the way from Japan in search of a soul mate.
For the past seven years, Pune deputy regional transport officer (RTO) Anil Valiv has been running the matrimony service for HIV positive persons, which has won him many accolades.
Valiv said, “Over 70 male and 25 women attended the matrimony meet. Some couples who are now living a happy life with their children were also present on the occasion. We support them as we feel that they too should get an equal opportunity in life.”
Meanwhile, some of the HIV positive victims shared their life stories.
Fortythree-year-old Manoj Singh (name changed), a resident of Pune, discovered that he is infected with HIV 12 years ago. For 10 years, he lived a lonely life before he found his soul mate.
Speaking about his new life, Singh said, “My wife left me as she loved someone else. After filing divorce, I got my blood test done and that’s when it was revealed that I have HIV. It was tough to live alone without a partner. However, two years ago I met my new life partner in the matrimony meet.”
Arya Shinde (73) (name changed) attended the event to search for a partner for his 43-year-old son.
Shinde said, “My son is working in Konkan railways. Ten years ago, he was detected with HIV positive. We had a tough time finding a soul mate for him. I hope my search ends here.”
Rajeev Sharma (name changed), who is working as an analyst in a Gurgaon-based MNC, met with a road accident few years ago and had to be admitted. He had to undergo blood transfusion. Later, when he conducted blood tests before going abroad for studies, he realised that he is infected with HIV.
Sharma said, “I got this diseases because of someone else’s mistake. My dream, my passion was ruined. Luckily, it was detected in an early stage and hence it is under control with the help of medicines. I have come here to find a partner who understands me. I hope to find a soul mate here.”