31 (Odisha.in) Orissa government has decided to provide Special pension to next
of kin of those whose husband or wife died of HIV/AIDS, Health Minister
Durodhan Majhi here said.
Terming the initiative first of its kind in the country,
Majhi said," this is a token of support to the families of the HIV/AIDS
victims losing their lives untimely".
The Women and Child Development Department would provide
Rs.200 per month as Special Pension Relaxing the existing norms followed in
case of widow/Old age pension and disability Pension, he said.
Besides, the Women and Children living with HIV/AIDS would
also be provided with similar special allowance after due identification
process, the Health Minister said adding that it has also been decided for
provision of old age homes for older persons who have lost other family members
to HIV .
Since, HIV/AIDS normally made the family of the victim
economically run down; Majhi said HIV positive persons and affected families
would be included in supplementary nutrition program, he told Odisha.in.
Similarly, it has also been decided to bring the Childrren
of HIV infected parents to enable them to continue education by providing them
scholarships , he said Informing that debates , essay writing , painting and
other similar competitions with HIV/AIDS as theme in colleges and
Universities would be organized as part
of the Awareness campaign by involving the students.
He said that steps would be taken to identify HIV positive
and AIDS cases by involving the Anganwadi workers and Women Shelf Help Groups
in Rural level.
The Health Minister as the Chairman of the State Council on AIDS,
Orissa, was reviewing HIV/AIDS responses in the state and the scope of
facilitating HIV mainstreaming initiatives in government department at its
first meeting here.
As a part of the initiative to combat and prevent the
dreaded disease, it has been decided to create regular awareness program for
staffs in the government departments and Public sector undertakings by
preparing annual action plan with budgetary support for respective departments.
Initially eight departments- Panchayati raj, Housing Urban
Development, Youth and Sports affairs department, School and Mass Education
Department, Higher Education department, Labour and Employment, Women and Child
Development Department, Information and Public Relations Department have been
included in the mainstreaming program, he said adding the staffs of the
concerned department would be imparted training to create awareness and
undertake sensitization program against the AIDS.
Even the elected representatives in the Panchayat and
municipal areas would be sensitized to
get better result in preventing the AIDS, he said.