Staff Reporter

Kozhikode: As many as 399 HIV-positive students here have been given Rs.15 lakh, part of their annual grant under the Santhwanam project of the Global Kerala Initiative – Keraleeyam.

Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, who distributed the money here on Friday, said the project was a model, involving a wide section of society. He promised to find donors for the project in Maharashtra and donated Rs.1 lakh himself.

The project is aimed at augmenting the State government's efforts for the relief of HIV-infected persons by providing better health care and educational facilities for the infected children. Currently, 698 children are being supported, with each getting Rs.15,000 as annual grant.

Industries Minister Elamaram Karim delivered the keynote address. M.K. Raghavan, MP, was chief guest. District Collector P.B. Salim offered felicitations. P.V. Abdul Wahab, chairman of Keraleeyam, presided.

N.R. Harikumar, secretary-general, Keraleeyam, said the Rs.15 lakh was mobilised through the ‘Jai Ho' concert of A.R. Rahman here last year and the sale of postage stamps on the theme of HIV-affected persons in schools all over the State.

The Global Kerala Initiative was floated in 2005 with State government support. The Santhwanam project provides rehabilitation facilities for children in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka with attempts now being made to include Maharashtra also, Mr. Harikumar said.