Times of India
14 June 2010
By Sumitra Deb Roy
The city’s HIV/AIDS control body is on a major brainstorming exercise along with other agencies to put the much talked about Condom vending machines to proper use. So far, 500-700 of these 3,000 machines installed in and around Mumbai, have either been stolen, vandalised, or are lying underutilised.
For the last couple of months, the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS), along with NGOs and the Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT) have been mapping out new locations where the machines will be relocated and installed. The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) in 2008 had assigned the task of procuring, installing and servicing of 10,025 CVMs to be installed in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, UP and Orissa, to the HLFPPT.
According to an MDACS source, about 250 Condom vending machines from Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai were stolen over the last two years, while machines of a similar number were vandalised. Of the remaining 2,500 machines, many were either not working properly or were not refilled on time, the source said. An official from an NGO working with HIV/AIDSrelated agencies said there were regular complaints from Dharavi that machines there were not being refilled.
According to new plans, machines will now be visible at stations, public
toilets and pan shops. MDACS also plan to install some of these machines in BPOs, outside corporate offices, shopping malls among other private establishments. It is easy to install such machines on government premises. “For private areas, we require special permission and have started the process,’’ said Dr S S Kudalkar, project director of MDACS.However,Kudalkar said special care would be taken to ensure privacy for whoever was using the machine.
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