About 500 women of Kolhapur’s Kodoli village have launched a drive to educate their fellow villagers about HIV/AIDS. The move comes in the wake of the village gram sabha adopting a resolution on January 26 this year declaring that no one in the village should discriminate those affected by the ailment.
With a population of about 45,000, Kodoli houses 49 villagers, including a child, who are either HIV-positive or are suffering from AIDS.
Women from self-help groups (SHGs), mahila mandals, anganwadi workers and supervisors will spread the message through a planned health campaign. These women took the vow to join the campaign on September 26, and would spearhead the drive from October 2.
After passing the resolution, the village gram sabha had issued a note to SHG members, mahila mandals and anganwadis about the campaign and 500 women join the movement.
Kolhapur district, with 8,000 HIV-positive and AIDS patients, ranks fifth in the state among high-risk areas after Mumbai, Pune, Sangli and Solapur.
Village sarpanch Manisha Gawade said, “Only passing a resolution will not suffice. We have to initiate action to stop discrimination and create awareness. We will emphasise on interaction with the villagers for the next two months to begin with.”
Deputy sarpanch Ashok Bhosale said that the village needs to be proactive so that villagers do not fall prey to HIV/AIDS. Kodoli gram panchayat has released a booklet about health scenario in the village.
Bhosale said that a health survey was also conducted in the village.
“This too was done by women. They visited each house and gathered information about the health of members in each family. We have compiled the important data about the common diseases that affect the village in the booklet,” he said.
Women will also spread awareness about reproduction and personal hygiene.
Anganwadi supervisor Radha Khade told DNA, “About 65 anganwadi supervisors and workers will be participating in the campaign. It will include home visits, conducting street plays and talks. We will be organising various programmes on health and cleanliness.”
The campaign is inspired by a drive undertaken by DM Bhosale, a faculty of the Kolhapur-based Chhatrapati Shahu Institute of Business Education and Research, and some students of the institute’s DK Shinde School of Social Work along with Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) a few months ago.
Students and CFAR will train the women who will be implementing the campaign, said CFAR member Sachin Kamble.