Amit, 16, and Guddi, 13, are a “child headed family.” They lost their parents to HIV. Amit works 6 days a week, 12 hours a day to provide for the both of them while Guddi cooks, cleans, and goes to school. Amit loves cricket, and Guddi is known as the Bollywood ipod.


Kusum is the eldest of three sisters and lost her mother when she was 13 years old. Kusum was separated from them recently to attend one of the nation’s only adult education schools. She is studying for her exams right now so she can make up for the years she left school to take care of her mother. She is a fantastic dancer and wants to be a dance teacher when she grows up.


Vaishali, 13, and her two younger brothers are HIV positive. Vaishali goes to school, attends clinical visits to stay on her anti-retroviral drugs, and takes care of her younger brothers—one of whom has an aggressive form of tuberculosis. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up to fulfill her mother’s wishes.

The Film

The incidence of child-headed families in India is on the rise. Children with HIV infected parents in India suffer a dual predicament. Often treated as the property of the adults, their rights and freedoms are violated, while they also suffer from the disease itself and the social stigma and financial burdens it brings.


Project Child comes from a short film project called Ashray. Ashray is a home for children affected by HIV.


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Arth Films is an arts organization and film production company that creates provocative works that strive to make people question and understand social issues. Arth means “meaning” in Hindi.