Taal Nagpur New Center Inauguration, December 1, 2011

The positive people movement in Nagpur has begun in year 2002-03 at the time when stigma & discrimination were closely associated with HIV. People living with HIV (PLHIV) were facing the wrath of common people and thus many PLHIV were hiding themselves to be able to stand in society. Few PLHIV who came forward to fight for HIV cause have co-founded the positive network formally in year 2005 under the able guidance of Dr. Milind Bhrushundi.

The next step was treatment access for PLHIV, this was the phase when ART access was a challenge. Govt. ART centers were limited and many PLHIV were averse to visit public hospitals in order to avoid revealing of their HIV status. The network has taken step towards the same with support from Emcure Pharmaceuticals and established Taal; one stop pharmacy that provides medicines at subsidized cost, counseling, and guidance. Taal was established in year 2006 at Nagpur and has been ironical in providing ARVs to more than 1000 PLH in 5 years of its establishment. The reflection of Taal Nagpur success was predominantly seen when Sanjeevan has managed to purchase and develop their own place near Medical Square, Nagpur.

The new centre of Taal and Sanjeevan at Chandan Nagar Nagpur was inaugurated at the hands of Dr. Milind Bhrushundi, guiding force behind Sanjeevan and Mr. A. K. Khanna, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Emcure on 1st December 2011. Mr. Khanna has complimented and congratulated all Sanjeevan members for building their own new centre. A tree plantation was also done at the hands of Mr. A. K. Khanna and Dr. M. Bhrushundi at Taal premises on occasion of World AIDS Day.

Taal inauguration ceremony function was organized at Hotel Sun & Sand, Nagpur. On Dais were seated Ms. Babita Soni, President Sanjeevan, Mr. A.K. Khanna, Dr. Milind Bhrushundi. Ms. Shubhada Phadnavis was the master of the ceremony. Mr. Narendra Sanke introduced all the gathering with the formation of positive network, Sanjeevan and the force behind establishment of organization. He also briefly touched upon the activities and projects conducted by Sanjeevan.

Mr. Arun Kumar Khanna, Chief operating officer and Executive director of Emcure who supported Sanjeevan in starting care and support centre called TAAL 5 years back was received special mention for this note worthy cause. TAAL empowered the positive people and helped them to extend advice and support for many others. Dr. Milind Bhrushundi is the man behind Sanjeevan Bahuddeshiya Samaj Seva Sanstha has been felicitated for his initiatives. Other personalities who were felicitated were - Dr. Gurumukh Bhutani, who had operated on more than 125 HIV positive people;

Dr. Ajay Tapnikar – in-charge of government ART Centre; leading gynaecologist – Dr. Nalini Kurve helped many PLHIV at successful deliveries, ophthalmologists – Dr. Prashant Bawankule & Dr. Sonali Khanna who have helped retain vision of many PLHIV ; Ms. Savita Harkare – Editor- Lokmat; Ms. Surekha Zhode – Nurse of Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, under whose supervision more that 6000 PLHIV were admitted; Mr. Sameer Shinde – coordinator, NGO ACCEPT.

Mr. A.K. Khanna addressed the audience by giving insight about corporate involvement in HIV cause and future plans of company in extending and access of newer drugs to PLHIV. He also promised Sanjeevan members about donating 2nd line regimen to those PLHIV who are facing challenges to access medicines. Dr. Tapnikar also snatched opportunity to speak on the Govt. programs and activities. Dr. Bhrushundi in his address spoke on importance of adherence and requested all gathered PLHIV to remain adherent to their therapies. Ms. Babita Soni gave vote of thanks. More than 150 people had gathered for the functions. The people comprised of Sanjeevan members, other NGOs (working in HIV cause) members, media, doctors and medical representatives. The program culminated after dinner.