Indomitable spirit of Nagaratna Ramagouda


A pink teddy bear, posters, soap-bubble makers tucked into the window grill, some birthday caps resting in a neat stack on the TV stand gives a very different look to the office of Ashraya Foundation, the foundation that started for the HIV positive girls post adolescence.

The founder of Ashraya Foundation has a never dieing attitude and she always Where hope never dies.


When death was all she wanted, her little son gave her the strength and inspired her to live and help others like her live. Nagaratna Sunil Ramagouda (34) recently founded Ashraya Foundation to help those affected by HIV and AIDS. 

nagratna-ramgoudaIt was in September 1997, five months after we were married. I was just 17. When we approached our family doctor for advice, he said we would have just have three to four months left. We were shocked. I was pregnant and following the doctor’s advice, I got an abortion,’ 

Depressed, Nagaratna and Sunil locked themselves inside their house for days. But they needed money to survive, and that forced them to return to work. Sunil, an auto driver, was back to ferrying passengers.However, neither Nagaratna nor Sunil told their families about the HIV infection. Sunil had disclosed it to three friends, who maintained secrecy. One of them saw Nagaratna crying and said, “Don’t let yourself die every moment. It is God who decides and so leave it to him. Just take care of yourself.’

Five years later, Nagaratna’s family wanted to know why she wasn’t pregnant yet.

ashraya foundation belagaviThe couple then approached Dr Shivaram. Under his medical supervision, she delivered a HIV-negative baby boy. It was only then that the fear of HIV left Nagaratna and Sunil.

They decided to spread awareness about HIV-AIDS and came out.In 2014 Sunil expired.

It’s been 20 years since Nagaratna has been tested HIV positive. When she and her husband had been first detected with HIV, doctors didn’t offer much hope, and even said that their days are numbered. The period after they decided to come open about their infection was the most difficult phase of their life, she says. 

She appeared in many interviews with the press, only with the conviction that awareness would make matters bearable for others like her. She began work with a local civil society organisation and continued there for several years before ideological differences forced her to move out and start her own centre. It’s been three years that her husband passed away, but her spirit stays indomitable.

She has been counselling individuals with HIV at the civil hospital in Belagavi for many years now. She has also been a co-worker for the US Government’s Centre for Disease Control and also for Myrada, an organisation that works on various poverty mitigation interventions and Red Ribbon Express, an AIDS/HIV awareness campaign train by the Indian Railways, among others. She credits these opportunities for the rich experience she has gained in this field. Her foundation, Ashraya Foundation, has a two-tier structure, an advisory team and a team of volunteers who are known as the ‘Youth for Seva’, which comprises of 30 dedicated college students. 

I don’t want girls and women with HIV to go through what I had. Some may have the strength, but not all do,” said Nagaratna, adding that the Ashraya Foundation aims to provide counselling, training, education and employment.

The girls (currently there are only four girls due to lack of space and resources) at the foundation have learnt sewing and craft. She takes them for regular checkups and ensures they are enrolled for correspondence courses too. They make paper bags, greetings, envelopes with warli motifs on them, shopping bags from saris, machine covers, assorted quill earrings and the like. These are sold at exhibitions and on order as well. 



  1. Hello madam, I really thank u from my bottom of my heart for your work to the hiv infected, u r really God for them

  2. Hatts of Nagaratna Maam u r truly a inspiration…we all r alws wd u…?keep going maam…

    To morning I have watched Drama Junior in this program. It’s realy inspiration to all those r in trabal in life.

  3. Mrs. Nagarathna, hats off to your guts. May god bless you your kid.
    To night I have watched you on zee Kannada Sa Re Ga Ma Pa program. My married younger brother died due to this HIV on 31.03.2017. He was detected HIV in Sept 2008. Since then I was taking care of him till his death. Spent lakhs of rupees to keep him happy but his wife didn’t leave him to live. I want to visit your Ashraya and want to help in many ways. Please confirm your availability either in Bangalore or in Belagavi

    My Mobile no: 9731600910
    Please send messages in case I don’t take call due to busy in meetings


  4. I visited Ashray today ie 8.11.2018 Diwali Padava.Felicited Nagaratnaji with a Shawl,Diwali Gift and a smallest Squirrel size donation to her endeavour.Sang songs and spent musical evening with the Girls.

  5. ಆತ್ಮ ವಿಶ್ವಾಸವನ್ನು ತುಂಬುವ ಅತ್ಮಿಯ ನಾಗರತ್ನ ಅಕ್ಕ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸೇವೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಕೊಪ್ಪಳದ ಜಾತ್ರೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ತಿಳಿದು ಸಂತೋಷವಾಯಿತು ಹಾಗೂ ಕಾರಟಗಿಯ ಚಿರ ನೂತನ ಮಹಿಳಾ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮಕ್ಕೆ ಆಗಮಿಸಿದ್ದಾಗ ಗೆಳೆಯ ನೂತನ್ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಪರಿಚಯ ನಮಗೆ ಮಾಡಿಸಿದನು ಇಷ್ಟರಲ್ಲೆ ನಾವು ಕುಟುಂಬ ಸಮೇತ ಆಶ್ರಮಕ್ಕೆ ಬರುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆ.

    ಇಂತಿ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಆತ್ಮಿಯ

  6. I have visited Ashray foundation and had interaction with her. She is an inspiration to humanity. Wish her success.

  7. Don’t loose hope and spirit at any point in life.. This is the message Nagaratna is giving to the world

    Hats off Nagaratna…


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