Seventh Annual Festival


6:00 min
Director: Ambika Samartha
Producer: Ambika Samartha

Winner of the Global Health Award
Sponsored by The Green Family Foundation


More About Ashray from Director Ambika Samartha

Ashray, one of the project organizations that makes up the Committed Communities Development Trust, is Bombay’s first home for children who have either been infected or affected by HIV. The children at Ashray are there because their parents are unable to provide for them and often are very sick or have passed away. Ashray does not do any mandatory testing on any of the children. None of the over fifty children nor the staff know which youth are infected with the virus. Universal precautions are taken with everyone, as if everyone has the virus. Ashray provides more than nutritional support and medical services to its youth. It provides a home where kids can learn English, bollywood dancing, art, and enjoy other activities outside of their regular schooling. It is a place where they come to feel part of a larger family. The house-mothers who live and work at Ashray, as well as the rest of the staff, are an intergral part of the children’s lives. While the children miss their parents, Ashray has become their new home and family.

When I was seventeen years old I went to India as part of a program where we gave educational presentations on HIV/AIDS to different schools and universities. One of the places we visited during our stay was Ashray, and I was inspired by the staff and the children there. I have always wanted to come back and document their lives.

I am currently proposing a feature documentary on other facets of CCD Trust – including a program where they take care of the children of prostitutes during the day and evening hours.


Seventh Annual Media That Matters Film Festival, family & society, health / health advocacy, human rights, international, media, politics / government, racial justice, youth
Creative Commons License: Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivative Works