NGOs are in a dilemma whether to continue it or not

The HIV/AIDS-related programmes in the State are hamstrung by lack of funds, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) say.

The NGOs sign contracts with the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) every year for the implementation of HIV/AIDS-related programmes. The funds are routed through the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (Tansacs). The NGOs had received 85 per cent of the total project cost for 2011-12. The contracts were renewed for 2012-13 (April to March). However, they have been waiting for funds for the last three months.

T.S.Ram Kumar, director of the Centre for Social Reconstruction, an NGO working based in the district, told The Hindu that Tamil Nadu was a model state in the country in controlling HIV/AIDS, which had dropped to 0.25 in 2009 thanks to the efforts of Tansacs and AIDS Prevention and Control Project (APAC). But of late, the government was not showing much interest in the programme, he said.

There were 92 Targeted Intervention NGOs, six Migrant Project NGOs and six Truck Drivers Intervention NGOs in the state.

A total of 800 staff and over 2000 peer educators had been working without salary and travel reimbursement for the last three months, Mr. Kumar noted.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official of the technical unit of Tansacs said IAS officers appointed as Tansacs Project Directors were transferred frequently, and it seriously affected the implementation of HIV/AIDS-related programmes. Moreover, the government did not appoint qualified and trained officials in other top-level posts. Further, many IAS officers regarded the post of Project Director a "punishment post". To cap it all, for the last five years, the Tansacs officials and staff members had not been given any increment.