The first reported case of AIDS in India was in Chennai in the state of Tamilnadu. Because the epidemic was advanced, large numbers of adult AIDS patients were registered and many were dying reminding the old plague of India. The result was a steep rise in the number of children orphaned by the disease. Pervasive fear and ignorance means health care workers are still loathe treating these children and orphanages will not take them in.
1993 – Two orphaned children a boy aged 2 and a half and a girl aged 4 were admitted at the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Chennai, where Dr.P.Manorama was working as the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. They were admitted in the gastroenterology department for management of Hepatitis B Infection and HIV infection where Dr.P.Manorama was working. Dr.Manorama was able to observe the social scrooge while treating the two children. When planned to discharge the orphanage from where they came was hesitant to take the kids back in to their arms. Dr.Manorama decided to take the children with her. She was advised by a friend to start and register a NGO that could care the children. Thus Dr.Manorama who embraced these children started The Community Health and Education Society - CHES. CHES responded to this situation by providing care to AIDS orphans when no one else would and offered refuge and solace. Dr.Manorama registered CHES under the Tamilnadu societies Act with the support of her friends who were then associated with her private clinic that offered services to public. Read More
In 1993 two children tested HIV positive among 50 children who underwent HIV testing in a Chennai city based orphanage. The orphanage management admitted both these children at the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for children, Egmore. The word that children were living with a dreaded disease soon spread and flocks of people used to come and see these two children. The panic that was raised because of the stigma drove the caregivers who were taking care of the children.
CHES started to work at the Government Reception Center at Royapuram since 2007 when the NGO was invited to provide support to the resource center at the Government center by the then chairperson of Child Welfare committee. This project helps children to voice their story and their decision to go back home or to a suitable safe destiny is the main agenda.
CHES is collaborative NGO under the Childline Program (1098) in South Chennai for 5 zones with the support of Childline India Foundation (CIF)/ Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, Government of India. A phone number that spells hope for millions of children across India, CHILDLINE is India's first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance.