Connecting local responses around the world
(A sharing by Kokila, Saraoja amma and Rani, Thiruvannamalai Deepam AIDS Thaduppu Sangam)
Three members from a CBO of FSW in Thiruvannamalai visited a village to pass a Panchayat resolution against stigma and discrimination on PLHIV and on people who are vulnerable to HIV.
While they were addressing the villagers, the Village chairman said that there was a woman who was infected and they had isolated her from the village. Then the three women insisted that they see that women and she was brought to them. CBO members asked the villagers now that you all have understood the facts how do you want to respond to this person. All the villagers said that they would accept the woman and help her. The woman was not ready to take their words as it is. CBO representatives were also not convinced. Then they asked the woman what she wants. She replied saying that she does not need any food or commodities from the villagers but, she expected that they would stand by her side and not isolate her. The villagers repeatedly explained that they will not isolated her but she insisted that she would believe their words if they ate the food she had cooked. She brought the food and gave smalls scoops of rice to the villagers including the village head and everyone ate the rice. From that day onwards she was very well treated by the villagers and there was no stigma and discrimination.