Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The World AIDS Day theme for 2010 — 'Stop AIDS, Keep the promise: Universal Access and Human Rights' — encourages us to work towards strengthening the services offered to People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). Like many organizations and FBOs the Catholic Church in India also envisages an inclusive society which is non-discriminatory. Therefore, we believe that like any other person the PLHA too have equal dignity in the society and their rights need to be respected. It is important that the PLHA also needs to have access to all available services for their wellbeing.
Ensuring Universal Access:
Unlike in the past, HIV infection is no more a death sentence on the person. Today, with the Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) PLHA can lead a healthy life like people with diabetes and hypertension. Today's available ART effectively suppresses the replication of the virus in the body and keeps progression of the disease under control. The good news is that ART is provided free of cost by National AIDS Control Program of the Government of India. Thus, universal access to treatment has become a possibility.
However, in a country like India one of the major obstacles to universal access to treatment is HIV related stigma & discrimination. Many a time this situation results in overt denial of the rights to covert neglect of the needs of the PLHIV. In this context it is important to build their self-esteem, collective identity and involve them also in addressing the widespread stigma against them.
Another obstacle to the wellbeing of the PLHA is lack of socio-economic support. For PLHIV to sustain in their prolonged ART, they need social and economic support. In this context it is also imperative to integrate the PLHA into our society by working towards their socio-economic rehabilitation. Several government welfare schemes/programs that address the needs of PLHA are available. These schemes need to be identified and made accessible to the PLHA to reap maximum benefits. Concerted efforts need to be initiated towards advocacy and sensitisation among elected representatives at all levels including Panchayat members so that PLHA are not discriminated or denied access to such services.
The Catholic Church and its work in HIV:
The social teachings of the Catholic Church, especially the principle of distributive justice persuades the Church to work towards universal access to services. This is being translated into action in the field of health care through her vast health care network, which is the second largest health care network in India, after the Government of India. With the onset of HIV in India, the Catholic Church had been working actively with the PLHA in areas of HIV prevention, care, and rehabilitative services with the aim of enhancing universal access to PLHA to the available services for their wellbeing.
Under the National AIDS Control Program (NACP –III) and with grants from PFI as part of the Global Fund Round 6 program, the PACT project of CBCI has been setting up Community Care Centers (CCCs) for PLHA in the States of West Bengal, Gujarat, Orissa, Bihar and Chhattisgarh since June 2007. Till October 2010, a total of 48 CCCs have been successfully established during the project, which has enrolled more than 38,300 PLHA for care and support services. Moreover, above 100 PLHA work as project staff whose presence is not only inspirational for their peers but also bring in much more sensitivity and ownership into the project team. This can be considered as a concrete expression and example of the CBCI policy on HIV/AIDS – "Commitment to Compassion and Care".
In addition to the PACT project numerous Nuns' congregations, numerous Religious Men's congregations e.g. Order of St. Camillus, Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI), Catholic Nurses Guild of India (CNGI), Sister Doctors Forum of India (SDFI), St. John's Medical College, Bangalore, Caritas India, all Diocesan Centers for Social Welfare, CBCI Coalition for Aids and Related Diseases (CBCI-CARD), the CBCI-IGNOU Chair for various HIV/AIDS study programs are also involved at the service of PLHA, assisting and enabling them to access the various services available to them. Many are also involved in "Community AIDS Talk" initiatives addressing various dimensions of HIV related stigma and discrimination. This initiative brings several leaders of communities together, who candidly speak about HIV in gatherings to inform people and help them in understanding their role towards building a nurturing and enabling environment for PLHA.
On this World AIDS Day, while commemorating the theme of "Stop AIDS, Keep the promise: Universal Access and Human Rights" I express my sincere gratitude to all our partner orgnisations, key stakeholders and other communities for all that they are doing for the society especially the PLHA and encourage them to continue enhancing the service delivery in an enabling environment that protects and promotes the rights of all PLHA, especially of the poor and the marginalized.
May God bless you and all your initiatives!
With kind regards,
Archbishop Vincent Concessao
Chairman, Office for Health Care
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Double click Image for larger view
A musical concert in aid of Kripa Dharavi project was held at Rang Sharda hall, Bandra Mumbai on the 12th of November. This was organised by WAKE UP...BANDRA,titled WE ARE FAMILY,which was well organised by Mr. Dereyk Talker. The Guest of Honor was Fr Willam Athaide the Parish Priest of Mount Carmel Church,Bandra . In his address note he mentioned about the great work Kripa and Fr Joe was doing for the chemically Dependent all over the world and also how at Kripa Dharavi, they were doing marvelously looking after Street children. He further mentioned humbly that he was also there representing Fr Joe who was in Goa at The International AA Convention as Fr Joe being a Class A non alcoholic Trustee for AA in India,his presence there was important.
At the event Sister MUNIRA KHAN was felicitated with an award " Citizen of the Year" by Mr Dereyk Talker of Wake Up Bandra for 60 years of service in the vineyard of the Lord
The event was packed to House full and the artist's kept the show lively with a mixture of Old and New music tracks.
In this blog we have a speech by Naomi Nigam , The Youth Ambassador of Kripa and also a active volunteer at the Dharavi project.A testimony by one of the beneficiaries.Also in the blog is a very touching poetry which was recited by the children on stage.The end we have a speech by Naomi Nigam telling us about the work carried out at Kripa Dharavi.
A HEART FILLED GRATITUDE TO DEREYK TALKER FROM FR. JOE AND THE KRIPA FAMILY
My name is Jyoti ( name changed to maintain anonymity ) My mother was labeled as being mad and I was labeled as a source of tension and we were banished from our village by my father.
We reached Busawal and as a little child of 9, I used to sweep the railway compartments and beg for money from the travellers. I was often hungry and alone. Slowly I learned to sell gutka and old bottles.
Our next stop was Mumbai I also learned form other children to use drugs and inhale solvents to get me high. I also learned to sell my body through prostitution which helped me get money for my drugs.My life changed and I was now able to earn a lot of money and wear the clothes I was always wanted to but there was always missing in my life: true happiness. Sad and lonely, many times I slashed my wrist after getting high.
One day by chance at Dadar Station, I met Anita Didi who offered me chance to change my life at the
My life changed again, but this time for the better. I am blessed with a wonderful little baby
The Poetry recited by the children from Dharavi
YOU ARE OUR VOICE”
When we roam the streets,
Looking for food,
Or through the dustbins,
For some scrap;
You are our voice.
When drugs tempt us,
And we push them away,
Or are gently counselled,
To stay addiction free;
You are our voice.
In times of darkness,
When we are sick,
Or are nursed to health,
With loving hands;
You are our voice.
From Yoga to dancing,
Or English to karate,
Maths or diya painting,
In the Dharavi slums;
You are our voice.
For a better life…
We need you, We love you,
We thank you;
You are our ONLY voice
Address note by Naomi Nigam ( Youth Ambassador & Volunteer at Kripa Dharavi) at the function
If you have ever walked down the alleys in Dharavi ,you will be greeted with a mixture of grime and garbage, squealing pigs and naked children running amok. Yet, in their very midst, stands a ray of hope through our Dharavi Drop In Centre.
For over 3 years we have welcomed each and every street child with open arms. They come from broken homes, runaway children, all battered and bruised by drug use. Each and every day, we slowly help them to become more independent and to grow into stronger human beings.
As children, all we have ever wanted is to be loved and appreciated by our family and friends. These children have no family and have been deprived of every drop of love that we more fortunate ones, take for granted.
So this is what our centre hopes to give them. We want to give them the Life that they deserve.
We want them to Laugh till they are crying.and we want them to Love and to be loved in return.
Our program of counseling, yoga and meditation works to rehabilitate the children and help Them battle their uncontrollable addiction to solvents, glue or alcohol.It is extremely crucial for them to have a basic knowledge of English, Math, Environmental studies, and Hindi, which they enthusiastically learn at every session.Through a strong volunteer program they have been encouraged to paint, dance, learn Karate and improve their carrom playing skills.
Children, by nature are distracted and carefree. However it is heartening to see them settle down willingly and happily during the various vocational activities such as paper packet making and bag painting, decorating bookmarks or divas. They learn the importance of recycling the paper, cardboard and art materials that are generously donated by supporters, making this an eco-friendly activity.
As the festive season approaches they are enthusiastically getting ready with Christmas cards, bookmarks and candles. It is our dream, for them, to be capable of standing up on their own two feet, independent and strong.
Volunteering over the last two years, I have watched these children blossom and grow from small caterpillars into beautiful brilliant butterflies. There is no greater joy than the joy of children, and each time I go back to Dharavi, I am a part of this. Each time I visit them, I am bombarded by the children jumping up and joyfully greeting me. They have gone from the formal “Good morning Didi” to the friendlier “Hi Didi” and I have come to love and cherish each moment I spend with them. Their simple smiles and shrill laughter at even the smallest of things lights up my day. On this note, I want to warmly welcome one and all, and especially the youth to volunteer at our center and open your hearts to the children. For it is in giving that we receive. Come join our Friends of Kripa Family and be the drop of change in the children’s lives.
The theme “We are family” could not be more appropriate for our own little center in Dharavi. At the heart of this family stands our staff that work tirelessly and diligently day after day with the children, molding and motivating them into the butterflies that they are today. Our sincere appreciation goes out to the this team of Deepak, and Rajan our Program Co-coordinators, Praveen our male nurse, Shabana our social worker and Sarika our out reach worker. Those who could not be here are Brett our artistic Coordinator and Robin Pihal a volunteer who choreographed the dance.Thank you for your wonderful efforts!
A family is not made up those connected by blood but by who you love, care, respect and trust. I now welcome our very own precious children to complete the circle of our little Kripa Dharavi family.
A family that prays together, stays together and so we will now recite the Serenity Prayer, a constant source of courage and inspiration to every recovering addict as they rehabilitate their lives.