About Us

Our Mission

Our Mission is “To not lose a single child to HIV.”

Our vision

We have a holistic vision for the children: To build a sustainable future for the HIV/AIDS affected, by fulfilling their basic needs, and empowering them to be independent decision makers.

Our Story

The year was 2009.

A 6-year-old-girl named Durga was going to change the course of history forever.

When HIV/AIDS was first detected in India in 1986, Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, was found to be one of the worst affected places in the country. The epidemic was spreading unchecked, with several orphaned HIV positive children succumbing to the virus due to poverty, lack of awareness, proper nutrition, and health care facilities.

That’s when the children of Krishnagiri caught the attention of ARCOD.

ARCOD is a 32-year-old NGO dedicated to the upliftment of women and children in the rural areas of Krishnagiri, a district 100 km from Bengaluru. (How ARCOD came into existence is a different story altogether, to be told another time.)

In 2009, Mr Keshavraj, the Director of ARCOD, came in touch with Mr K. G. Murali, an industrialist and a humanitarian; the two set out to explore the gravity of the situation in the district. And that’s when they came across Durga.

A kind-hearted banana-chips seller who earned minimum wages to sustain his family of three children, adopted Durga, an HIV positive 6-year-old orphan girl, as his own daughter out of nothing but absolute humanity and generosity.

This act of kindness moved Murali beyond words.

Another HIV-infected orphan girl named Sridevi was found lying alone in the corner of her small house; a tiny figure shrivelled and curled up in a ball in a corner, waiting for her organs to fail, and death to ease her pain. She was immediately rushed to a hospital.

It was then that Murali gave up his material pursuits and took up the cause of the Children of Krishnagiri.

Since then, it’s been a decade long struggle for him towards the cause of HIV/AIDS-affected children in the district, and a fruitful one at that!

At present, Children of Krishnagiri, or CoK, is a successful first-of-its-kind HIV/AIDS programme that works not just for the infected children, but also for the welfare of all the children in the area, aiming to ultimately destigmatize the disease through their endeavours.

In 2012, CoK began with 175 children, providing them with nutritious food worth Rs. 500 per month per child. Today, CoK has a spacious Home for the children who call it ‘Namma Veedu’ or ‘Our Home.’ The programme takes care of around 220 HIV/AIDS children by not only providing them with food and nutrition, but also proper medication, counselling, and quality education. It also helps them become self-sufficient to face the life ahead of them.

The sole aim of the programme is to give the children a healthy and normal life. There are several NGOs that work for the betterment of the HIV/AIDS affected. What sets CoK apart is the emotional and psychological support or ‘hand-holding’ as Mr Murali likes to call it. He says, “to be able to touch a child’s heart... that’s where we come in.”

CoK works closely with doctors, counsellors, government officials, MNCs, and other NGOs to formulate and adopt the best practices in HIV related health care and wellbeing.

In 2013, when the medical records of the children of Krishnagiri were updated, it became a matter of pride for everyone behind CoK. Now, the mortality rate in Krishnagiri is negligible. It’s the result of, “Good food, medicines on time, and love,” in the words of Murali.

The programme also conducts training camps to help the children cope with the stigma and mental health issues that HIV/AIDS comes with. In order to build a healthy and thriving community, CoK also organizes summer camps, excursions to neighbouring cities, trekking events, festive events, and other recreational activities for the children.

Next in the pipeline, is a learning centre where the children will be introduced to technology, which will also empower them with skills enabling them to follow their passions.

CoK receives its funding from several entrepreneurs, organizations, corporations, and MNCs. When ARCOD identified the extent of monetary support that the project would require, they began exploring their options. Thanks to supporters like St. John’s Hospital, Bengaluru and Saint Gobain, we have been able to convert this mammoth dream into a beautiful reality. We are also well funded by philanthropic individuals and large scale conglomerates like HDFC, IndusInd Bank, and HSBC.

COK has also been consistently supported by Murali’s friends and relatives, who stood by him in the past 10 years, and continue to lend their support. His nephew Sundar, cousin Kannan, and his friends Shankarram, Srikant, Srikrishna, Srini, Balasundaram, Gopal, Suresh Narayan, and Bhaskar, along with his son-in-law and daughter, Saranath and Architha, have supported him financially without any hesitation. It has made all the difference in the lives of the children.

CoK also organizes events such as walkathons and cyclothons periodically to raise funds for the cause. [View Our Events]

Oh, and about Durga and Sridevi… they are hale and hearty; healthy young girls pursuing higher studies, following their dreams.

Our milestone

2009

Began the Research on the HIV/AIDS situation in Krishnagiri

2009 to 2012

Provided Rs.500 every month per child for 3 years to 75 HIV affected children

2012

Started a full-fledged nutrition program for the children

2013

Medical records of the children updated with the help of St. John’s Hospital, Bangalore

2014

Started a home for the children at a rented place that ran for 5 years

2017

Acquired land for a new home for the children in Rayakottai, Krishnagiri

2018

Construction for the home began on the land acquired

2019

Home constructed and ready for the children to move in.

2019

Home constructed and ready for the children to move in.

2009 to 2012

Provided Rs.500 every month per child for 3 years to 75 HIV affected children

2012

Started a full-fledged nutrition program for the children

2013

Medical records of the children updated with the help of St. John’s Hospital, Bangalore

2014

Started a home for the children at a rented place that ran for 5 years

2017

Acquired land for a new home for the children in Rayakottai, Krishnagiri

2018

Construction for the home began on the land acquired

2019

Home constructed and ready for the children to move in.

Our Team

K. G. Murali

Voice of Children

A good Samaritan, a parent to the children of Krishnagiri, founder of CoK, and someone who personifies compassion.

V. R. Keshavraj

Executive Director, ARCOD

Self driven passionate Professional social worker with the vision of serving the poor through sustainable Development contributing meaningfully for 41 years now.

A. Panneerselvam

Project Manager, ARCOD, CoK

K. Sheela

Field Coordinator, CoK

S. Stella Mary

Namma Veedu

T. Sivamurthi

Deputy Director, ARCOD

Director’s Note

“ARCOD has been very fortunate to have a great friend like Murali whose association with ARCOD has facilitated the consistent focus of ARCOD towards children, their health, education, life skills, etc. ARCOD’s long and effective sustenance is due to a few individuals. Murali is one of the key contributors by his overflowing passion for the children. He is a rare human being with a great heart, very positive attitude, generous family and friends’ network. I must mention his better half Shanthi whose support and encouragement to Murali is the key to his untiring efforts towards the Children of Krishnagiri. Nothing is impossible for Murali when it comes to CoK.”