Centre to come up for HIV positive orphan children

Berhampur: It's positive news for HIV positive orphan children in Ganjam district as the government has decided to set up a modern orphan centre to accommodate them.

With a capacity of around 80, the centre would be the first of its kind in state and around Rs six crore would be spent for constructing a building for it, district collector Krishan Kumar said.

The district administration has already received about Rs two crore for the purpose under the Special Problem Fund. A medical unit with four-bed hospital would also be run in the proposed centre to provide the medical facilities to the children, Kumar said.

The centre would be a ray of hope for childrenwho are infected with the AIDS virus and heading towards a bleak future after the death of their parents in the disease. A voluntary organisation working for AIDS awareness said there are over 600HIVpositivechildrenin the district.

Over 100 of them lost their AIDS inflicted parents. At least 34 of them have been rehabilitated in a district Red Cross run centre at Gopalpur in the district.

"We have acquired around 2.5 acres of land for the proposed centre. The construction work for the building will be start soon," said another officer.

Besides rehabilitation of the HIV positive kids, the district administration has also decided to provide transport expenses to them to visit the Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) centre for treatment. The expenditure is borne by Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan (SSA) fund.

The district administration has also decided to provide house under Indira Awas Yojana (IAW) and Mo Kudia Yojana (MKY) to those afflicted with HIV. The governments cheap rice programme (at the rate of Rs 2 per kg) will also be extended to them, the Collector said.