> Role of NGOs
NGOs play a pivotal role in the prevention of HIV/AIDS as they work closely with people who engage in high-risk behaviour. TNSACS has funded neraly 200 NGOs, and is striving to create an effective network to enhance awareness and achieve behaviour change.
The aim of NGO collaboration is to educate the vulnerable groups engaging in high risk behaviour and to promote safe sex. TNSACS encourages area and population-specific intervention programmes by grassroots-level NGOs.
TNSACS supports and links up with many NGOs to create awareness, provide proper counselling, promote safe sex, care and treatment-seeking for HIV/AIDS cases. Tamil Nadu has evolved an open and transparent system that lends support to the activities of the NGOs. Today, the number of NGOs supported by TNSACS (about 200) is the highest in the country.
Broadly there are two types of organisations which are supported by TNSACS. The first group comprises NGOs/CBOs who undertake intervention projects. The second group includes organisations of People Living with HIV/AIDS, with a focus on activities related to care and support, aimed at impact reduction.
part of its policy of transparency, TNSACS places advertisements in
newspapers inviting NGO proposals. The selection of NGOs
involves three stages:
Scrutiny of the proposal by the NGO Advisor and the Technical
All proposals from NGOs are appraised by the NGO Advisor and the TAC. Proposals recommended by the TAC are inspected by Zonal Officers who make field vistis to verify the working of the NGO, their capability and the community's perception of the NGO. After field inspection, the proposals along waith the field inspection reports are presented to the Executive Committee of TNSACS. Based on approval by the Committee, funds are disbursed to the NGOs in instalments after signing the necessary agreement. TNSACS periodically inspects the NGOs to monitor the progress made. All NGOs are required to present a progress report to TNSACS.
Intervention programmes are aimed at promoting safe behaviour by providing vulnerable and marginalised groups with access to condoms, counselling and STD treatment services. Till date, 17 such groups have been identified and reached through the NGOs.
The groups identified for intervention programmes are truck drivers, commercial sex workers, migrant labour, industrial workers, refugees, fishermen, slum dwellers, hotel and lodge workers, domestic help, students, street children and MSMs.
TNSACS has developed working relationships with NGOs to ensure that the HIV/AIDS situation is properly and adequately addressed in the appropriate manner. In February 1997, about 600 NGOs attended open-house meetings spanning four days. During these sessions, clarifications were provided on proposal guidelines, identifying target population and preparing a project proposal for grants. This gave the NGOs confidence and built bridges between the NGOs and TNSACS.
Today, about 200 NGOs have been funded by TNSACS. By September 1998, Rs.385.17 lakhs had been disbursed. The trend in assistance is moving towards more medium-size grants. Today all the 29 districts in Tamil Nadu are covered through NGO grants.
To establish a rapport with NGOs, TNSACS has appointed an NGO Advisor who is easily accessible to the NGOs. The NGO Advisor provides them with information, advice and promotes participation. There are three NGO members in the Technical Advisory Committee, as well as in the Executive Committee, one of whom represents positive people.
Every year, open-house meetings are conducted with NGOs during which the Hon'ble Health Minister interacts with the NGOs. TNSACS also conducts sessions where NGOs can share their experiences and benefit from each other's insights and experience gained in the field. Training programmes on preparation and management of a project are held, apart from workshops and seminars for NGOs.
Through NGOs, TNSACS provides support for the following activites:
The continuous efforts in improving awareness levels and regular advocacy have created an environment for PLWH/A to come out in the open to disclose their status and unite to form an organisation to promote their cause. With the help of TNSACS, the Indian Network of Positive People (INP + ), the first of its kind in the country, was started in Chennai and is networking positive people across the country.
Within the State, the Tamil Nadu Network of Positive People (INP + ) has also been promoted with the assistance of TNSACS. To address specific issues/problems faced by HIV-positive women, a Positive Women's Network has also been started in Tamil Nadu.
TNSACS has employed two positive persons in the society to demonstrate its empathy with the cause of such persons. NGOs are also required to engage at least one positive person in their project funded by TNSACS. Thus TNSACS is involving NGOs , more actively and successfully in various care and support programmes.