Press release: HIV positive people support agitating workers of Karnataka Stake AIDS Prevention Society Contractual Employees Association

Praja Rajakiya Vedike

& Karnataka HIV Sonkithare Sanghatane

Press Release

Bangalore, 5 Feb 2014:Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV) in association with Karnataka HIV Sonkithara Sanghatane along with Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU) and Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum (KSMF) took out a Rally from Anandrao Circle (near VRL) to Freedom Park, in support of the agitating workers of Karnataka Stake AIDS Prevention Society (KSAPS) Contractual Employees Association.

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Their main demands include Regularisation of all contractual employees who are working in the AIDS control programmes into the Government setup and to apply sixth pay commission salary scale to all KSAPS contractual employees on par with Karnataka State Government employees.

For the last several years, doctors, the counsellors, lab technicians, and other para medical staff and nurses have been supporting and helping many of our members including people living with HIV, sex workers and sexual minorities but the Government instead of meeting the just demands of the workers is trying to divide and rule saying that ART (medicine for HIV positive people) services are being affected. “It is true that the services are temporarily affected but it is the duty of the government to see that people living with HIV are supplied with stocks which are given for one month in advance,” said Parveen of Karnataka HIV Sonkithara Sanghatane. “Instead of solving the problem, the government is trying to divide community from the counsellors who have been supporting us all along,” she added.

HIV positive leaders from Karnataka HIV Sonkithare Sanghatane from many districts, have arrived in Bangalore, to support the striking Contractual employees of Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society. For the last seven days, as part of a national-level agitation, about 2200 workers of HIV prevention programmes in the State, have gathered a Freedom park to demand regularisation of all contractual employees.

Bharathi, HIV+ and General Secretary of the Karnataka Sex Workers Union said, workers should be united. Governments are also violating labour rights in the HIV prevention programs where they employ sex workers, sexual minorities, drug users and migrants. By terming them as volunteers/ peer educators they are violating minimum wages act, contract labour act etc. She called for all these workers and KSAPS contract workers to join hands to support rights of both these sections.

Manohar Elavarthi, Jont Secretary of Praja Rajakiya Vedike said that the governments are systematically denying labour rights by making large sections them as contract workers. Like KSAPS contract workers, ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, contract municipal workers (paurakamikas) and many others are denied their rights in this process. He said that all workers from organised, unorganised and informal sectors should come together to defend the rights of all workers and to eliminate contract labour system and for the proper implementation of labour laws.

For details call Manohar at 96322 23460 or Parveen at 98809 52676

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