A heartening post on the Humans of Bombay page details the story of Aditya Tiwari and his son Avnish. Tiwari is India’s youngest single parent to adopt a special needs child. The post not only details Tiwari’s unrelenting efforts to adopt Avnish but also mentions how he exposed the orphanage Avnish was in for malpractice. The post, since being shared on September 9, has gone viral with over 1.7 lakh reactions and more than 38,000 shares.
Tiwari met Avnish for the first time about five years ago at an orphanage. Avnish was five months old at the time. “No one was paying any attention to him. I couldn’t help myself, so I went and picked him up - he laughed, and we just clicked,” he says.
“I asked the warden what was going to happen to these kids, he said that all but Avnish would get adopted because Avnish was ‘Paagal’, had Down Syndrome and was going to die in a few years anyway,” he adds.
He asked if the orphanage would let him adopt Avnish but they laughed and told him a bachelor, below 30 had no right to adopt.
Tiwari refused to give up and continued to visit Avnish. He even enquired about his health and treatment. “But every time I asked, the warden was dodgy,” he adds.
The orphanage even moved Avnish to Bhopal but Tiwari didn’t relent. He drove down every weekend to meet him. In the meantime, he also researched adoption laws in the country and wrote to ministers and public figures to help him.
“I even got in touch with the child welfare council, but they said that they didn’t have any record on Avnish… I realised that there were many more undocumented kids at the orphanage. Something was fishy - a lot of these kids were disappearing and I suspected they were victims of child trafficking and organ selling,” he says.
He went to the police and filed petitions seeking the truth. He even received threatening calls but didn’t give up.
Things, however, became better when the Welfare Minister responded. “That expedited everything, and soon that orphanage was exposed and banned,” he says.
After 11 months of efforts, Tiwari was given Avnish’s custody. “The day Avnish came home, it was like sunshine walked into my life,” he says.
He goes on to detail his life with Avnish and it will instantly bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Several people are touched by the post.
“You are amazing! Not everyone has the courage to take such a bold step. Hats off to you. Avnish is such a handsome boy,” says a Facebook user. “This is one of the most profound stories I’ve come across on this page. Hats off to this gentleman’s love and perseverance,” says another.