Bal Gopal (Bal Mukul) Yojna
Quality care program with holistic approach for Children and adolescents Living with HIV:
Gujarat AIDS Awareness and Prevention Unit of ISRCDE “GAP” is pioneer organization in the field of HIV / AIDS. GAP founded by late Dr. Mrs. Radium D Bhattacharya in 1989 has held various innovative activities in care, counseling and supporting the program through “Anamika Counseling Center”.
In the year 2010 GAP along with its senior staff to expand their activities and work area had visited the houses and met the families of those living with HIV in Ahmedabad city and district of Sabarkantha. The total number of houses thus visited was 237. The objective of these visits was to study the primary status of care, help and treatment. The team met 129 children most of them very poor and nearly 40% of the children and their parents were not registered at the ART centers. It was also observed that the children were deprived of the required adequate care. On preliminary grounds it was seen that these children were suffering from mal-nutrition, un-hygienic condition and irregularity in availing treatment. The core members of GAP framed the details of Bal Gopal Yojna and it was decided to start the implementation of the program on a smaller scale. The local people and cooperative banks were approached for financial assistance required for the same. The help received was both in cash and kind. On 17th June 2010 the program was inaugurated by the honorable additional project director Dr. Pradip Kumar. The beneficiaries of this program were 100 children living with HIV form the city of Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha district. And by March 2013 it could reach to 146 such beneficiary children. On the basis of the experiences and studies and observations during these years of implementing the program increase in the number of beneficiaries, area of work and activities Bal Gopal (0 to 13 years) and Bal Mukul (14 to 19 years) program has been framed out and a project proposal for the same is here with forwarded for your perusal.
Need for this program:
The present condition of HIV in Gujarat:
- According to HIV prevalence Gujarat is a modest state. As per Surveillance survey 2011 (NACO) there is an increase in the ANC prevalence rate in Gujarat, which is 0.45%. The reason for this decrease is in-migration of people to bigger cities and migration of people from small villages and rural areas to cities and other states. As per the report of Gujarat State AIDS Control Society till September 2012 total adults 75905 of which 47588 men, 28317 women were registered at the ART centers of which 27742 are on ART.
- As per the report of CIMS for the period April 2012 to September 2012 by Gujarat State AIDS Control Society total 5408 children have been registered and 1923 children are on ART. As per NACO Annual report of year 2011-12 for children living with HIV Gujarat comes after Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. But in Gujarat most of these children are from the migration source areas of small villages or towns and slum areas in the city. GAP has done a study on family, social, economic, discrepancy and disgrace, physical and mental status of 79 children in the district of Sabarkantha and 61 children in the city slum areas.
Problems faced by HIV affected children:
Adverse situations – (family, social, economic)
- Approximately 95% children are from the poor or lower middle class families. Of these 85% are from social-literacy backward, schedule caste and schedule tribe category.
- Approximately 29% children are orphan who are living with either their grandparents or some relatives and 2% are living on their own.
- Approximately 31% children are those who have lost their mother or father due to AIDS, and are dependent on their relatives.
- Approximately 40% children are living with their parents of which 72% children are such who’s both parent are living with HIV. 95% children have been affected with HIV due to their HIV positive mother. 5% children are affected due to blood transfusion – where they are also suffering from Thalassemia.
- There are many children who have seen many of their family members dying and are suffering from that fear of death.
- Children have to face discrepancy and disgrace in their own family, school and society.
- Care taking of the child is also affected by child’s parents or relatives by not only their socio-economic conditions but also their lack of knowledge, belief in superstitions, their own illness, and physical weakness.
Along with the various struggles that a child faces he also faces various other adverse factors like
- Moving out of the parents for earning a livelihood
- Mental condition of the mother
- Living under a step mother
- Load of doing different work in such a young age