12 November 2010
By Astha Saxena
NACO–coordinated programme being discontinued for paucity of money
A programme being implemented for the welfare of HIV+ children from funds provided by global agencies in line with the strategic priorities of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) is facing closure. It was launched in July 2007 with the target of helping 64,000 children and is due to expire in March 2001.
However, the funding agencies have now decided to call off the programme, with only 59,500 children getting help. The NGO, Chaha, through which the programme was being implemented, has decided to go on a protest against the move.
According to Chaha, they are moving at a fine pace and expect to achieve the target within two months. However, with the programme being discontinued, they claim that not only thousands would remain unattended but those who have received treatment would also be affected.
"We need people to support our cause. After March 2011, there will be no one to look after these kids. We have been providing shelter to these kids, looking after their education and household generation. What will happen after that?," said Tanu Chhabra, Incharge, Knowledge Management, Alliance.
The NGO has decided to organise a meeting to urge the government to extend the programme or provide alternative routes for funding. Around 46,000 kids who were at the last stage of HIV AIDS have been given treatment by the organisation, so far.
"The government is silent about the kids suffering from HIV AIDS. From this platform we want to attract their attention toward these kids," said Romee Hijam, Programme Coordinator, Plan India, one of the NGOs participating in the event.
The event will be attended by Government representatives from National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and civil society organisations. Producer–Director Nagesh Kukunoor will also participate as goodwill ambassador.