People living with HIV will soon have a better place to go-- "Aashar Aalo", a Community Care Center (CCC) for People and Children living with HIV / AIDS. Social Welfare Institute will begin the CCC in Malda town 325 km north of Kolkata. The HIV patients will be able get access to free board and lodge and medical assistance during their stay at the CCC. A counselor and group of nurses and out-reach workers will help them and their families in accessing the Link Anti-Retro-viral Therapy Center at Malda District Hospital and will also help the families and the persons with HIV to live a better and more normal life. Initially there will be 10 beds available, and the place will be used as a short-stay home for the patients.
The CCC will be inaugurated on 1 June 2008, and Fr. Markus Mardi will coordinate the day to day operations. The fund support for the program for the next four years has been approved through an agreement signed between the CBCI Commission for Health and Puthumai A. Nazarene on behalf of the Social Welfare Institute. SWI was finding it very difficult to get a place in Malda for keeping the patients due to stigma and false notions among the people. However, a place has been identified and the recruitment for staff is already being done. Generous people may voluntarily support the cause of the CCC through donations to SWI as we will need more support for initial capital costs in setting up.