In order to remove the stigma of HIV and AIDS and to encourage those who are affected with the disease to come to the forefront, the Kochi Corporation will soon launch a special rehabilitation package. To be carried out by utilising the funds under Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP), the rehabilitation package mainly intends at giving special training to the HIV-affected in a set of skills that will help them find a livelihood.
Training will be offered in skills like craft making, tailoring which will lead the way to self-employment and other skills which will motivate entrepreneurship.
The civic body is planning to join hands with the Centre for Advanced Projects and Solutions (CAPS), an NGO working for AIDS awareness, for identifying the HIV-affected.
“As per the available data, there are nearly 100 persons living under the Corporation limit. We will identify these persons with the help of CAPS. Since there is a tendency among the general public to sideline the HIV-affected, we will not reveal the name or other details of the persons. Even many of the beneficiaries who are included in these project did not want reveal their names. Considering their request, we will not publish their names thereby leading to a situation where they will get sidelined,” said Kochi Corporation Health Standing Committee chairman T K Ashraf.
He said that initially, an amount of `6 lakh will be used from the KSUDP funds for launching the project. “We are planning to present the project before the Kochi Corporation council by November second week. Once the Council gives its nod, we will launch the project by December,” he said.
The rehabilitation programme for the HIV-affected also includes an awareness programme, training in various skills, including driving, and supply of medicines to them. “We had analysed the possibilities of launching a housing scheme but later thought that it would further marginalise them. Our main aim is offer mental strength and equip them with some skills.
We have already channelised funds for two of them by buying autorickshaws to help them make a living,” he said.