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Special Service

Every HIV positive woman should be economically independent; P Kousalya

 

Special  Feature

Nari Shakthi Puruskar award

N. Thenappan*  

 Vidhya AR**

The National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) is mandated to communicate science & technology (S&T) to masses, stimulate scientific and technological temper and coordinate & orchestrate such efforts throughout the country

      Every positive HIV woman should be economically independent says P Kousalya the winner of Nari Shakthi Puruskar award winner for the year 2014. She has won this award along with Dr.  Sailakshmi Balijepally and Dr. Nandita Krishna from Tamil Nadu. She is the President of “Positive Women Network” and has been actively working for the welfare of HIV positive women.  

           She began this service in 1998. She lost her husband two years before she began this network. When she approached a government office for a personal reason, one of the officials asked her to give an interview to the press. That is how it all began. She did give an interview and felt that she was of some use to the affected women. She felt that there was no enough awareness about HIV at that time.  

         Positive Women Network (PWN+), founded in October 1998, is a national voice of women living with HIV/ AIDS in India. Consistent with its vision of HIV-positive women empowered to live a life of dignity and equality, free from stigma and discrimination, PWN+ represents issues affecting the quality of life of women and children affected by the epidemic across India. Since its inception, PWN+ has been making change through the strategies of Action Research, Advocacy, Capacity Building, Livelihood and Outreach / Services . PWN+ has carried out these activities in partnership with Indian government (central, state and local), UN agencies, and national and international civil society organizations and charities.

          The vision of PWN is ‘ Women living with HIV/AIDS , children living with HIV and children affected by HIV are all empowered to live a life of dignity and equality, free from stigma and discrimination.’

            The Positive Women Network (PWN+), has implemented various projects all geared towards the improvement of the socio-economic and health status of women and children living with HIV/AIDS. Projects were in the form of capacity building, research, advocacy, education and partnership building, formation of state level networks, livelihood, reproductive health, and psycho-social support to WLHIV in 13 states and 64 registered district networks. Last many years, they have been working in close partnership with the Tamil Nadu State government and Andhra State government, Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Board NACO, National Commission for Women, UNDP, UNAIDS, UNICEF, Canadian Embassy, Dutch Embassy, ICHAP, Engender Health, APAC, European Commission, UNIFEM, VSO India, VSO London, SAATHI and other funding agencies. They are also working closely with corporate, companies and charity organization to get support for education support for children and donations for dresses, books for children infected/affected with HIV.

PWN+ is currently in 13 States of India covering 55 districts with total membership of 30,000 women.

***

 

*Media and Communications Officer, PIB, Chennai                                                                                                           **Information Asst, PIB, Chennai

 

 
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