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)

Stop human rights violations against people living with HIV

Stop human rights violations against people living with HIV


Karnataka HIV Sonkithara Sanghatane (Sanghatan of people living with HIV in Karnataka), Phone: 9980717496, Email: karhss@gmail.com

invites you for the PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION

on 30th November 2010 (Tuesday) at 1 PM

at Mahatma Gandhi Statue, MG Road, Bangalore

Our demands:
1. Stop the involvement of Village Health and Sanitation Committees and village panchayats in providing support to children infected/affected by HIV
2. Provide adequate food and nutrition to all adults and children living with HIV
3. Provide free, non-judgemental and quality medical treatment to all PLHIV
4. Involve PLHIV meaningfully at levels of decision making


Join us in demanding justice, bring your family members and friends along.

Constitution of India guarantees right to life to all its citizens. But the Government of Karnataka and KSAPS (Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society), the main governmental institution to address the issues of HIV in the state, have completely failed in protecting the right to health, right to food, right to dignity and right to life for PLHIV (People Living with HIV).

Stop harming children living with/affected by HIV in the name of supporting them: Government of Karnataka has rolled out a program recently through WCD (Department for Women and Child Development) to help children living with/affected by HIV in Karnataka by supporting expenses for basic food/nutrition, shelter, medical and related travel expenses, educational materials, clothing etc. Beneficiaries will be identified by the Village Health and Sanitation Committee and the village panchayat. The support for beneficiaries will be provided through the Village Health and
Sanitation Committee.

Why should Village Health and Sanitation Committees and village panchayats be involved in the process? Why should they know who is HIV infected child/parents in each village? Can the information about the people living with HIV be kept confidential in this process? Who will take responsibility if the people living with HIV and their children face stigma, discrimination, social boycott and other human rights violations as a result of revealing their HIV status to public? Is the government trying to help children infected/affected by HIV or trying to kill them or violate their human rights? Why the government did not consult HIV positive people and groups before designing this program? This shows complete lack of sensitivity from the government in dealing with people living with HIV, one of the most marginalized section of our spciety. This program should be stopped with immediate effect and wide-spread consultations should be held with HIV positive people and groups to redesign the program.

Provision of food and nutrition is central to the survival of PLHIV: Most PLHIV die in Karnataka due to poverty and lack of adequate food and nutrition. Adequate food and nutrition help in slowing the progress of the disease i.e. slow the weakening of the immune system. Adequate food and nutrition can help PLHIV to delay the intake of ART (Anti-Retroviral Treatment). PLHIV on ART need more nutrition than others. Adults living with HIV need 10%-30% more nutrition than others and children living with HIV need 50%-100% more nutrition than others, based on their disease progression. Intake of adequate food and nutrition is very difficult for many PLHIV as they are forced to spend significant portions of their income for medications and other needs connected with HIV. Government of Karnataka and KSAPS have failed to keep their long-time promises on making adequate food and nutrition available to PLHIV. This is high time that the government take immediate measures to ensure that adequate food and nutrition is provided for PLHIV.

Provide non-judgemental and free medical treatment in public health system:
PLHIV face enormous stigma, discrimination and neglect in the public health system. We regularly hear about the deaths of HIV positive women during child birth as government hospitals refuse to conduct the deliveries. Still medical kits required to help HIV positive women in the delivery process are not there in most hospitals. PLHIV are forced to spend a lot of money for medicines and diagnostics as they are not provided free of cost.

Meaningful involvement of PLHIV is a must: In a democracy, people affected are to be the central part of any decision making process. Government of Karnataka and KSAPS never involve PLHIV meaningfully in any decision making process that affects them. In fact Joint Director (TI) of KSAPS is known for publicly abusing and insulting PLHIV.

India CCM Election Sub-committee accepts the candidature of Suraksha

I am HAPPY to SHARE this GOOD NEWS.  

India CCM Election Sub-committee has accepted my candidature.  

My name is added to the election website’s contesting list. You can find it at http://www.indiaccm-elections.org/contesting-list.aspx (look under Sexual Minorities)

Scuttling of Global Fund’s India CCM Election Process

My (representing Suraksha) candidature to contest India CCM Election was denied unfairly. Here is the letter explaining the same in detail:

Bangalore
4th April, 2009

Dear friends

We are shocked at the way our (Suraksha WRHCP) candidature to contest Global Fund’s India CCM CSO Elections 2009 (http://www.indiaccm-elections.org) under the sub sector ‘Organizations working on the issues of Sexual Minorities’ was rejected.

The stated reason for rejecting our application was “Your organisation has in fact not met the following criteria set by the CMM Election Sub-Committee.
– Primarily working in the specific sub-sector that is sought to be represented”

We are at a loss how the committee came to this conclusion given that most of our work and almost all of our funding in the past 4 years has been for working with sexual minorities, primarily from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

We are also shocked at the blatant unfairness of the whole process, given that the India CCM election process claims to be transparent and fair. Below we list the events that lead us to come to the above conclusion.

– Finalized list of eligible candidates was suppose to be uploaded to the website on 2nd April however the same was put up only on April 3rdafternoon

– The email informing the rejection of our candidature arrived on the afternoon of 3rd April

– On April 4th morning when we contacted Mr. Pawan Varma (Election Secretariat, MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child) and enquired about reason for stating that Suraksha doesn’t primarily work with sexual minorities, he stated that it was the decision of the Election Sub-Committee. When asked about the detailed information for rejecting our candidature and to the process to appeal against the decision, he asked us to send a email to him, which he will forward to the sub-committee. He said that a we may not get a response till the 6th given that 4th and 5th are holidays

– Given the urgency of the matter (voting starts 9am on 7th April) how fair is it to have the rejection of the candidate and no time/ process to appeal?

– When asked about the composition of the Election sub-committee, he said that he is not authorized to reveal this info. When questioned about the lack of transparency and lack of a contact point to discuss this matter, he asked us to get in touch with  Komal Khanna and Ashima Mohan  from the Secretariat of the India-CCM for The Global Fund. He was willing to give us only the land line phone numbers and not mobile phone numbers. He also stated that they will not be working on the 4th and 5th April. We called the landline phone numbers mentioned in the India CCM website on 4th morning one of the numbers is invalid and there is no response to the other number.

This makes us believe that these elections are seriously compromised and raises serious questions about democracy, transparency and participation.

We appeal to all fair minded people and organization to raise your voice against this wilful scuttling of the election process.

Please feel free to contact us for more information.

In Solidarity

Elavarthi Manohar
Suraksha WRHCP
Bangalore, India

Copies to:
1. Communities Delegation to the board of the Global Fund
2. Developing Country NGO Delegation to the board of the Global Fund
3. Developed Country NGO Delegation to the board of the Global Fund
4. India CCM Secretariat

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