Dr. Kamala Hampana released the report “Chasing Numbers, Betraying People: Relooking at HIV Services in Karnataka” in Bangalore

Press Release

Bangalore, 17 Dec 2011: “Sexual minorities must follow Ambedkar’s slogan of Educate, Unite and Agitate,’’ said Dr Kamala Hampana, literary figure, while releasing the report “Chasing Numbers, Betraying People: Relooking at HIV Services in Karnataka” at United Theological College here on Saturday.

The author of 50 books, who also served as a chairperson of All India Kannada literary meet – 2003, clearly articulated that sexual minorities must assert themselves as human beings as access to even basic needs such as toilets, seats in the bus are denied to them. “We cannot wait for others to come and give us our rights. That will not happen; we need to march to Vidhan Soudha and demand our rights,’’ she added. “Reading this report is a big eye opener as I found out a whole new world of realities of people we know so little about even though they are in our midst,’’ she mused.

Sudha Nagavarapu from Janaarogya Andolana said that government encourages the fudging of statistics, whether it is malnutrition or HIV intervention so that it appears that success is achieved. It’s because the government is under pressure to show progress on the international commitments.

Members of the sexual minority community spoke of violations that routinely face in the name of HIV prevention work. Sanjeeva V, an activist living with HIV activist pointed out that People Living with HIV were excluded from programmes even though there was supposedly a policy that emphasises their role. The breach of confidentiality in numerous ways, including the manner in which the data is demanded, means that people’s privacy is invaded with impunity. Shobha, a Jogappa from Gulbarga highlighted that HIV prevention and treatment seemed to be the only concern of the government.

The target-driven approach where people are reduced to mere numbers is inherently anti-human rights. The lowest in the pyramid, face the worst abuses in the name of achieving targets.

All the routine and systematic violations are known to everyone working in these programmes are aware of it. However no one talks about the elephant in the room due to fear of reprisals of various sorts – including a stoppage of funding.

Since the government itself is guilty of these human rights violations the moot question is “where then do people go to demand their rights?” The agitation that Kamala Hampana spoke about is necessary to make the government and other agencies accountable to the communities whose welfare it is supposed to work for.

While issues related to the spread, prevalence as well as societal attitudes to HIV, have received considerable media attention; those related to the quality of services, and various compromises to people’s rights inherent in the HIV intervention is sidestepped or ignored.  The rights that are compromised include – the right to health, the right of effected populations to participate and shape policies as well as right to privacy. Various ethical considerations that especially important while dealing with vulnerable communities are often given the go-by; under different pretexts.

This report focuses on the experiences of male-born sexual minorities in Karnataka vis-à-vis HIV related services– and is an outcome of a collaborative process where community members have been co-producers of knowledge.

The report sketches the barriers encountered by them in receiving or seeking care in terms of access and availability of services. Attention is also drawn to the lapses and violations that occur in the name of providing heath services The report ends with a set of recommendations that have emerged from the sexual minority communities for policy makers, health-workers and activists

The entire report can be download from the page –  http://ksmf.in/?page_id=10

For more information contact Rajesh (9886155148) or Shubha (9243446105)

anekatrust@gmail.com

Report Launch – Chasing Numbers, Betraying People: Relooking at HIV Services in Karnataka

Aneka and Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum

Invite you for the launch of their report “Chasing Numbers, Betraying People: Relooking at HIV Services in Karnataka”.  

By

Dr. R Balasubramaniam (Founder of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) and ex special investigator and vigilance director for the Karnataka Lok Ayukta) and

Dr. Kamala Hampana (Scholar, Author of over 50 books and served as Chairperson -All India Kannada Literary Meet 2003)

The report is also endorsed by People’s Health Movement‘s Bangalore Urban Chapter (JAABU – Janarogya Andolana – Bangalore urban).

On Saturday, 17th December 2011, At  United Theological College, Millers Road, Near Cantt Railway Station’s Back Gate, Bangalore. Between 4:00 – 6:30 PM

While issues related to spread and prevention of HIV has received considerable attention – the quality of services,  compromises of people’s right – to health, to participate and shape policies as well as issues around privacy, and ethics do not are sidestepped or ignored.

This report focuses on the experiences of male-born sexual minorities in Karnataka vis-à-vis HIV related services– and is an outcome of a collaborative process where community members have been co-producers of knowledge.

Sexual minority communities have long faced challenges in accessing public services; including healthcare. Given that HIV places a significant burden on male-born sexual minorities; there are a range of HIV-related services and interventions that especially addresses them. The report sketches the barriers encountered by them in receiving or seeking care in terms of access and availability of services. Attention is also drawn to the lapses and violations that occur in the name of providing heath services The report ends with a set of recommendations that have emerged from the sexual minority communities for policy makers, health-workers and activists

For more information contact  Rajesh (9886155148)  or Shubha (9243446105)

Wild Politics: Feminism, Globalisation and Bio/diversity: Lecture by Susan Hawthorne, 30th Nov at 5pm in Bangalore

Sangama and Aneka invite you

to hear Susan Hawthorne in a lecture entitled (as her book is)

Wild Politics: Feminism, Globalisation and Bio/diversity

on

30th Nov. 2009 at Ashirwad 5 p.m

 

“Being a feminist requires optimism because the basis of feminism is a belief that things can change, that we are not entirely caught in a deterministic trap

Susan Hawthorne: Author, academic, activist, publisher, poet and performer.

will set out her new feminist cultural, ecological, and economic theory.

She draws on over three decades of feminist activism and theorising and looks at the tensions between globalisation and community, between disconnection and relationship and argues that the impact of globalisation on women has been disastrous

She unpacks structures of power and knowledge, law and international trade rules as well probes issues that intimately affect our daily lives

and suggests what we need is a new politics, one which puts biodiversity at the centre


In solidarity

Shubha and Manohar

On ‘Religion, Inclusiveness and Sexual Minorities’ Discussion, Bangalore, 24th AUG 09

Many people (including myself) spoke at the discussion organized by Sangama and Aneka with religious leaders on “Religion, Inclusiveness and Sexual Minorities” in NGO hall, Bangalore on 24th August 2009 including:

Swami Agnivesh (Bandhua Mukti Morcha and Arya Samaj)

Dr. Asgar Ali Engineer (Islamic Scholar, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism)

Rev. K. C Abraham (Theologian, Church of South India)

Mr. Christopher Rajkumar (Commission on Justice, Peace, Creation – National Council of Churches in India)

Mr. Dinesh Ghodke (World Alliance for Youth Empowerment, Art of Living)

Guruji Vinay Vinekar (Institute of Universal Consciousness)

Dr. Saleem Kidwai, medieval historian, translator, writer and editor of Same-sex love in India

Ms. Mansi Meera Baindur (Ecofeminist and Philosopher, National Institute of Advanced Studies)

Ms. Revathi, writer and sexual minority activist

Ms. Abhinaya, Film Actress

I represented Sangama and Aneka as their co-director and spoke about the situation of sexual minorities in the society and how they also get rejected by different religious spaces, institutions and leaders. This program was focused on how religions could be more inclusive.

Swami Agnivesh stated that he was one of the first people who signed the petition against section 377 of the Indian penal Code. He said god could be realized in all human beings and sexual minorities too are human. He said that when he welcomed the Delhi high court judgment some other religious leaders attacked his house and he said if him supporting sexual minorities received this response what could be the situation of sexual minorities.

Film actress Abhinaya stated that she supports the cause of sexual minorities.

Rev K.C. Abraham said that society and religions should be open to all people without discrimination. He appealed to sexual minorities to take forward their struggle for justice.

Ms. Revathi from Sangama spoke about how in Hijra culture includes many aspects of Hinduism and Islam.

Swami Dinesh said that IPC section 377 was like a fossil and was extremely discriminatory. He conveyed the message of love and support from his Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Swami Vinay Vinekar said that religion is not a religion if it teaches hate. All religions will accept people without discrimination.

Dr. Christopher Rajkumar said that he was impressed by reading the book of an Aravani Vidya and also said that if religions preach discrimination they are not religions at all. He said that there is a need for a campaign to become human and to remain human.

Ms. Mansi Meera Baindur said even religions have been changing and patriarchy has taken over the religion too, which has led into problems.

The session was chaired by Mr. David Selva Raj from Visthar.

Here are the links for some media coverage:

DNA: Agnivesh backs sexual minorities

HINDU: Centre urged not to fight Section 377 ruling

MID-DAY: ‘Be more human’

Discussion: Religion, inclusiveness and Sexual Minorities, Bangalore, 24 Aug 09

Sangama and Aneka

invite you to a discussion on

“Religion, inclusiveness and Sexual Minorities”

on 24th August 2009, Monday from 2 PM to 6 PM


at the NGO Hall, Cubbon Park, Opposite Vikasa Soudha, Bangalore – 560001. Phone: 080 22354784

Speakers include:

Swami Agnivesh

Guruji Vinaykar

Dr. Asgar Ali Engineer

Dr. Saleem Kidwai

Mr. Christopher Rajkumar

Fr. K. C. Abraham

Mr. David Selvaraj and

Ms. Manasi  Baindur

Issues of sexuality and gender are hotly contested in both religious communities and national cultures around the world. Further when the question relates to homosexuality and  transgenderism they invoke sharper responses, from ideas that this these are sinful, shameful, perversion and deserving of the highest punishment and wrath of god; to ambiguity and limited tolerance and even acceptance.

In the wake of the judgement on IPC section 377 by the Delhi High Court, that decriminalises homosexuality many religious bodies have condemned the judgement arguing that it was against religion, immoral and even against Indian culture. These people have been quoted repeatedly by the media and have also been invited to speak at various fora on these issues. This emphasises the notion that religious traditions are inherently conservative or even reactionary in their  commitments to powerful patriarchal and pronatalist (encouraging child bearing) sexual norms and gender categories.

However there have also been voices that spoke differently and adopted a more nuanced stand. These however have got scant attention. It is these voices that Sangama and Aneka is seeking to bring together to illustrate the diverse, complex and at times even contradictory traditions and practices that come under the broad rubric of “religion”. There are also sexual minorities who are people of faith; embracing both religion and their sexuality with joy  who are again invisible in the discourse. The basic tenets of all religions that are love and compassion; and recognizing the divine in all beings. This then makes the attitude of hate and violence inadmissible.

Religions have also been influenced by strong movements for rights and have changed their position on for example issues related to women. The texts and practices are constantly being reinterpreted by people coming from other perspectives and they have transformed religion. The time is now ripe for such an engagement between religion and issues of sexual minorities. We invite all of you to come and be part of this discussion.

“You can’t ignore us anymore!” – Transgender Activism in India, Public Lecture in Bangalore, 6th April 2009

Dear friends

A first in Bangalore – A Public Meeting exclusively focusing on diverse transgender issues in India….  

Aneka invites you to:  


“You can’t ignore us anymore!” – Transgender Activism in India  

On  6th April 2009 (Monday)  

From  5 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.  

At Vishranti Nilaya, CSI Women’s House, 18 Infantry Road (Diagonally opposite The Hindu Office), Bangalore  

Five activists share their experiences and insights on working with transgender people in different parts of India.  

Issues of SRS – Challenges for Law, the Medical Establishment, State and Society  Tista Das (on M2F) and Christy Raj (on F2M)  

Being Transgender in Rural Tamil Nadu: Challenges in Organising – Muthukumar Natesan  

Working with Hijras in Bangalore: Dilemmas and Challenges Elavarthi Manohar  

Patriarchy and Transgenders: Challenges for the Feminist Movement in India Anindya Hajra  

Chair Person: C. K. Meena, journalist and writer 

In Solidarity  

Elavarthi Manohar and Shubha Chacko

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