Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection in India (SAATHII), an Indian non-profit capacity building organization, formally began in 2002 with an initial focus on strengthening and scaling up HIV services in the country, congruent with a vision of a concerted response to the epidemic in India. Over the years the mission and vision have broadened with the realization that HIV cannot be addressed independently of broader health and development issues. Its vision has therefore evolved to encompass universal access to health, justice and social welfare for marginalized populations that are vulnerable to and or affected by the HIV epidemic. SAATHII’s mission is to strengthen and expand HIV, sexual/reproductive health, legal, and social services for people living with HIV, women, and children, and most at risk populations including sex workers, LGBT individuals, and people who inject drugs.
Headquartered in Chennai, SAATHII has operations in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Manipur, Orissa, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Jharkhand. SAATHII is staffed by senior professionals in medicine, public health, social work, research, nutrition, communication, and policy and legal advocacy. SAATHII works in alignment with National AIDS Control Program and across sectors (civil society, affected communities, government and private), levels of focus (district, state and national) and employs strategies of technical assistance, information dissemination, operations research, networking and advocacy to advance its mission.
Core program areas of SAATHII include eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV, integrating HIV with reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCH+A) services, promoting access to and uptake of comprehensive health, psychological support, social protection and legal services for PLHIV and most at risk populations through community-led interventions and advocacy.
Through its diverse projects, SAATHII has reached over three million individuals with HIV prevention services, 35,000 affected children and their families with care, support and treatment services, and 107,737 PLHIV and most at risk populations with social and legal protection services. SAATHII has trained close to 20,000 health care providers on HIV/STI prevention, care and treatment services and has successfully advocated with 3959 health care, 987 legal service and 121 social service providers to provide stigma-free services to AIDS-impacted communities. SAATHII also strengthened more than 100 community-based organizations and networks institutionally and programmatically.
In addition SAATHII has assisted the Department of AIDS Control (Ministry of Health) in development of National AIDS Control Policy Phase III and IV, Ministry of Health in policy development for dual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis, HIV prevention among MSM/TG, and has supported the Social Justice ministry in drafting a road map for transgender inclusion in India.
An early initiator of ICT- based interventions for health, SAATHII has developed a phone-to-web interface being used for reporting of HIV testing data from private labs to the government, used text messaging to reach communities with crucial health information, offered telephone-based peer counseling on sexuality, and conducted online courses in data analysis for health programme implementers.
SAATHII represented civil society as part of the annual Common Review Mission, an annual evaluation exercise of the National Health Mission in ten states. It is an elected member of governing council of International AIDS Society (2008-2016) and elected member of the Country coordinating mechanism of the GFATM (2010-2012).
SAATHII envisions universal access to health and justice
SAATHII strengthen and expand HIV, sexual/reproductive health, legal, and social services for people living with HIV, women, and children, and most at risk populations including sex workers, LGBT individuals, and people who inject drugs.
Facilitating access to schemes and entitlements for AIDS-affected families, sexual/gender minorities, female sex workers and people who inject drugs in 30 backward districts of eight states of India.
Project Svavritti main focuss is to increase information, access and uptake to government schemes by socially and economically excluded groups, specifically; AIDS-affected families, sexual/gender minorities, sex workers and people who inject drugs from focal backward districts of eight states in India. Within this scope, the project will further focus on schemes and entitlements that reduce poverty and improve quality of life. The project is thus aligned with the EU objective of helping service providers increase and improve access to information of public schemes and initiatives, in backward districts. Finally, at the district-level, the project will work with local authorities across domains to sensitize them on the need for making health and social-legal protection accessible to families affected by AIDS , gender minorities, sex workers and injection drug users and barriers these communities face in accessing these schemes and entitlements.
Improved governance with regard to social welfare schemes in backward districts of India, and enhance quality of life of AIDS-affected and vulnerable communities through promoting their uptake of social-welfare schemes
Improve social, economic and legal protection for individuals and households among families affected by AIDS, sexual/gender minorities, female sex workers and injecting drug users in 30 backward districts of 8 states of India in a four-year period.
•Families affected by AIDS, including adults, adolescents, and children
•Sexual/Gender minorities including transgenders
•Female Sex Workers
•People Who Inject Drugs
•Government departments at district level concerned with disbursement of schemes and services, particularly health, nutrition, housing, legal services, economic assistance and livelihood
All groups above, as well as other marginalized group who will benefit from improved access to information on services, and the services themselves.
The action proposed to address information, demand side, supply side and systemic barriers that collectively hinder uptake of government welfare schemes including legal services, will ensure that the following results are achieved.
Result 1: Increased access to information on government schemes and entitlements among families affected by AIDS, sexual/gender minorities, sex workers and injecting drug users.
Result 2: Improved transparency and accountability in the implementation of schemes by target communities in the focal districts
Result 3: Increased uptake of social protection schemes related to Health, Education, Housing, Shelter, Nutrition and Livelihood among these groups
Result 4: Action Results are available to relevant stakeholders within, across and beyond Action locations for replication and scale-up.
- Analysis of existing schemes to develop common minimum package (CMP) of social protection schemes.
- Develop Information-Education-Awareness materials on Schemes and Services and share with different stakeholders and focal community in the state/District.
- Sensitization of different stakeholder including State/District/Block administration as well as the representatives with involvement of community people. (e.g. District collector and other department heads, Block development officers and local governance such as, Zilla Parishad, Block Panchayat and Village Panchayat Institutions and Municipalities,
- Ensure uptake of Government schemes by the focal community by strengthening demand generation and consistent follow-up.
- The Project will advocate for policy change with state-level authorities to make existing schemes and services more accessible, citing, where appropriate, examples of social protection in other states.
- The community members and the beneficiaries will be trained on modalities and provisions of the Right to Information Act and the use of it in ensuring transparency and accountability in implementing schemes at district level.
- Best practices and case studies of effective information sharing and schemes uptake will be shared at national and state level experience sharing meetings and advocate for replication and scale-up
- Additionally, baseline-endline comparisons will be made of existing awareness of schemes among the focal communities, perceptions of the communities by government officials, to identify strategies to promote access and uptake, monitor project results and strategy to replicate.
Mr. Manish Soosai Mudaliar
Ms. Kanmani Chandran
Mr. V. Balasubramanian
Monitoring and Evaluation Manager
Dr. Kumaravel Ilangovan
Research and Documentation Officer
Ms. Randhoni Lairikyengbam
Program Officer – North East Region
Mr. Kedarnath Patnaik
Program Officer – Eastern Region
Mr. Hitesh Sharma
Program Officer – Western Region
Mr. T. Mahender
Program Officer – Southern Region
Mr. Bilson Joseph
Associate Director – Finance and Admin
Mr. P. Siva Shanker
Ms. Priya PK
Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection in India (SAATHII)
34/46 | Plot no: 127 | Kalakshethra Colony
Besant Nagar | Chennai 600090
Tamil Nadu | India
Tel: +91 44 244403663; +91 44 24403947 1354