Times of India
30 November 2010
Deputy Commissioner, Child Development, Maharashtra, Harish Rathod on Monday said the focus of the proposed integrated children protection scheme will be on children living with HIV and those who had mental retardation.
Rathod interacted with several children and NGOs at a function organised ahead of World AIDS Day (December 1). The Network of People living with HIV in Maharashtra, Plan India, MAMTA, Delhi organised a get together on Monday where children from 15 districts participated.
Rathod agreed to look into issues raised by the NGOs regarding delay in implementation of welfare schemes due to paper work. Salim Shaikh from the NMP + raised the issue that most children did not have the necessary documents and it took years to prove that they were orphans. Suvarna Ghatge from the Network said lack of certificates often delayed granting of relief to orphans.
The community members stressed the need for continuation of programmes that provide care and support services to children. According to a UNAIDS report, as many as 70,000 children below the age of 15 are living with HIV in India.
As per the estimates of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), 33,000 newborns contract HIV every year from positive mothers. Of this, over 50 per cent die within two years of birth while 80 per cent die within five years. In Maharashtra under the CHAHA project, NGOs along with Global Fund are providing care support packages to 19,388 children. Out of this, 3268 Children are living with HIV.
Since July 2007, MAMTA, PLAN and NMP+ along with fifteen consortium partners are implementing the CHAHA project, a child–centered care & support programme for families and communities.
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