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)



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


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’

“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

Fearless Karnataka: People tell police – Make Bangalore safe for women

A large number of people gathered in front of DGP’s (Director General of Police, Karnataka) office yesterday (March 7) evening to put pressure on the police to perform their duty – to make the city safe and secure, to prevent attacks on women and to end moral policing.

There were a lot of new people, whom I haven’t seen before in any public protest. There was a lot of high energy, giving us hope in these times of gloom. There were students, youth, techies, artists, lawyers, activists, media persons and ordinary people.

There were also familiar faces – sexworkers, sexual minorities, human rights activists, dalit activists, women’s rights activists from various groups including Alternative Law Forum, Aneka, Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Karnataka Sex Workers Union, Manasa, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, People’s Democratic Forum, Pedestrian Pictures, Sadhane, Samara, Samanatha Mahila Vedike, Sanchaya Nele, Sangama, Suraksha, Vimochana

Lets hope this new energy will succeed in putting an end to intimidation, moral policing and mindless violence.


Media Coverage:

DECCAN HERALD (Slide 2 of 14)












A woman holds a placard during a protest rally against recent alleged attacks on women, outside Karnataka state police chief’s office on the eve of international women’s day in Bangalore, on Saturday….


THE HINDU – Safety of women should get top priority, activists tell police 

The Karnataka police should treat the issue of safety and dignity of women in public places as top priority in the light of the series of attacks on them in Bangalore and in other parts of the State in the name of moral and cultural policing, activists of Fearless Karnataka, a forum fighting against moral policing and attacks on women, have said….


NDTV – Women fight for a safe Bangalore

Women in Bangalore are fighting to make the authorities in Karnataka understand that women do not feel secure and that it is an important issue. On Saturday, they took their demand for security to the door of the state’s DGP….


THE TRIBUNE – Fearless Karnataka flays moral policing

Volunteers of Fearless Karnataka, an umbrella organisation of various local women right groups, today urged the Karnataka Director General of Police to stop harassing women who may like to file an FIR with the police to record assault or molestation cases. A large number of activists, a majority of them women, had gathered at the DGP’s office here today to protest against the ongoing “moral policing” by thugs directed at curbing the freedom of women….


INDIAN EXPRESS – Karnataka police assure protection to women

Carrying placards reading “Make Bangalore safe for women” and “End violence against women”, a group of activists trooped into the office of a top Karnataka police official Saturday evening and sought action to stop increasing cases of harassment of women in the state, particularly in this capital….

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