Navigation Links
Unique Savings Scheme Aids Sex Workers

Chennai: A health-linked savings scheme has given a new meaning to life for thousands of sex workers, members of the transgender community// and HIV positive people in Tamil Nadu.

The scheme by the Tamil Nadu AIDS Initiative (TAI) and the Voluntary Health Service (VHS) aims at educating the marginalized communities about the benefits of saving. People are encouraged to drop their meagre savings in hundis (mud pots), take them to TAI centres and later open bank accounts.

Said Geeta, a commercial sex worker: "I have been in the profession for 10 years. It was only recently that I learnt how to save." Geeta is also a member of the Association for Rural Mass, an NGO that has introduced hundreds of commercial sex workers to anti-AIDS initiatives.

"I saved in a small hundi for the last three years - just Rs.3,750. At the end of January, I started another (hundi). I never had comfortable savings. But this scheme has given me the opportunity to do so," she added.

The scheme, launched in October 2006, was initially for only three months. They have now continued it among TAI and VHS' 50,000-strong community of high-risk groups like sex workers, transgenders, HIV positive and the destitute.

"Marginalised women and members of the transgender community are unable to protect themselves from violence and infections because of their low negotiating skills. We are working with communities that have no idea what it means to save or open a bank account," says TAI director Lakshmi Bai.

"Once we initiated the process, we were shocked to find that within three months hundreds of bank accounts were opened," she exclaimed.

At present, over 6,000 women and transgender people have savings accounts negotiated by TAI.

They take their hundis to the TAI centre and deposit their savings in their respective bank accounts when they go for their monthly health checkups. There are community members who have saved to the tune of Rs.20,000 in three months.

But banks do not want to have the marginalised as account holders, say officials. "Though I wanted to save money in a bank, I had problems opening an account due to my gender," Vidya, a transgender person, told IANS.

"This programme has helped me start an account. I've now learnt to differentiate between necessity and luxury. I cut down most of my expenses. Now I am an expert in making flower vases and my savings help me market the products. I am now independent," said a proud Vidya.

TAI and VHS recently presented awards for the best savers in a contest called 'Naallay Rani' or the 'Queen of Tomorrow'.

Stunned that she had won the best-saver award, Muniamma from Dharmapuri district said: "I never dreamt that I would win the award with the small amounts of money I set aside. But now I find that my efforts have yielded results."

Explained Jayashree, TAI's communication officer: "The idea is not to just reward them for their savings but their consistency and the ability to standout as role models."

N.S. Murali, honorary secretary of VHS, added: "Savings is integrally linked to a feeling of well-being and empowerment. Such an event recognises their efforts in accessing health care services and staying healthy."

Activist Aarthi Pai noted that initial feedback during interactions showed training to save had been most valued by the people.

"The most important thing is that they are now at least tracking how much they earn and spend in a month," she said.

People are praising the scheme.

"The programme made us think about our future and the need for developing mechanisms to take care of us," said Sathyavathi, who has saved Rs.7,000 in three months.

Added Jamuna Rani, a former sex worker from Vellore: "My children have also become 'Naallay Rani'."

"They asked me about the savings box. When they learnt that we could save, my children got separate boxes of their own," said Rani, now an AIDS awareness community worker.

Source-IANS
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Christmas, Carols And Unique Indian Christianity
2. Unique Smoking Helpline Launched In Manchester
3. Unique Smoking Helpline Launched In Manchester
4. A Unique Train To Spread Awareness About AIDS
5. A Unique Technique To Visualize How The heart functions Developed
6. Unique Cancer Rehabilitation Program Launched To Improve Cancer Care
7. Orissa Boy Invents Unique Communication Device For Paralysed
8. Dermatologists Provide Unique Evidence of Possible Cause of Rare Skin Condition
9. Unique Tomatoes Tops In Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
10. Australian City Fights Global Warming in a Unique Way
11. Unique Models Help Teach Nanoscience to the Blind
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... On ... issued a letter to withdraw previous guidance issued by the Obama ... The guidance issued in May 2016 by the Obama Administration came in response ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) – the ... the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, outreach initiatives and ... Beach to host its Swirl: Miami Wine Tasting Event on March 28, 2017. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial ... 74th Annual Meeting. KLS is a longtime supporter of the event. , "We ... and Platinum Sponsor," said Dr. Bob Havlik, 2017 ACPA President. "KLS Martin has a ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Hamlin Dental Group and Dr. Hamid Reza, ... a raffle. Throughout the month of February, patients who visit Hamlin Dental Group will ... a dinner for two at the Cheesecake Factory. , Tickets are available for ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... as an approved content provider for the National Institute for Health and ... and social care-related organizations in the National Health Service (NHS) to search, order ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  The particle counters ... by 2021 from USD 275.9 million in 2016, ... the full report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p04718602-summary/view-report.html ... on pharmaceutical R&D, and growth in manufacturing industries ... market growth for particle counters. On the other ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... CHEYENNE, Wyoming , Feb. 24, 2017  Xynomic ... company, today announced that it has acquired exclusive ... a potentially best-in-class innovative HDAC inhibitor targeting hematological ... total of 14 Phase 1 and 2 clinical ... Asia have already been completed, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017 Visiomed, ... and services since 1997, is changing the landscape ... technology providing patients with pro-active, custom-made solutions. Recognizing ... for instant and affordable healthcare without walls, Visiomed ... high-level devices developed with healthcare professionals that is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: