We won't need campaigns if we realise our duties, says Kamal Haasan

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that children living with HIV are provided proper education, nutrition and medical care. We won't need campaigns if we, as a community realise our duties,” actor Kamal Haasan said here on Saturday.

He was addressing a programme to highlight efforts taken by Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) to ensure proper nutritional and psycho-social care to children orphaned by and vulnerable to HIV. It was organised by TANSACS with the support of Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) and Population Services International (PSI).

Successful efforts

P. Amudha, Project Director, TANSACS, said that efforts to reach out to the community have been successful with various integrated counselling and testing centres, community care centres that provide treatment for opportunistic infections for people living with HIV, drop-in centres that provide exclusive services for HIV-positive women, and free legal aid clinics.

Fighting and tackling the marginalisation of sexual minorities, are yet to be achieved, she said.

About the Tamil Nadu Trust for Children Affected by AIDS (TNTCAA), Ms. Amudha said that the initiative catering to the needs of 1,595 children across the State, has been allotted Rs.5 crore.There are 7,000 more children who are yet to get basic education and healthcare. Efforts are being made to reach out to corporate institutions and social service organisations to mobilise additional funds, she added.

On the ‘Petralthaan Pillai Ya' campaign launched last year by PSI, Mr. Haasan said that the heart-rending stories of children with HIV would make one realise how much more was yet to be done. The campaign aims to spread awareness on the need to gather support from the community to cover such children's needs.

The impact of the campaign, Rajeev Nambiar, CEO, Hello FM said has been tremendous, because in just a week's time, 4,000 responses mostly from overseas have been received to generate funds for medical insurance for children with HIV.

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