Towards improving the quality of life of women in sex work, SMS works on

Pragati: Implemented in partnership with Swasti, this is an empowerment project in 5 zones of Bangalore city. With over 80% of the staff from the sex work community, the project is managed and implemented by the women. Supported by the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust with funds from the Avahan-Sankalp programme (until 2012) and subsequently by KSAPS, the project has been in implementation since April 2005. A crisis management system has been in place since Dec 2005 and as on September 2013 over 6,580 cases have been reported and addressed.

Swathi Spoorthi: A network of positive women in sex work, it is managed by two PLHIV who facilitate access to services and encourage positive living.

Swathi Savi: A nutrition supplement, prepared, packaged and sold by SMS as an initiative to improve nutrition for PLHIVs. The nutritional needs of PLHIV who have a compromised immune system and especially those on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) led SMS to start this programme. Apart from providing it to PLHIV at subsidised rates, the product is also marketed extensively among care and support centers, NGOs, CBOs and few corporate houses. Currently about 1000 kgs of the product is sold every month.

Baduku: Awarded by the World Bank’s South Asia Development Marketplace (SARDM) in June 2008, the project was initiated by the community to address Stigma and Discrimination faced by people living with HIV, especially women in sex work. Advocacy efforts directed towards the general public and key secondary stakeholders such as police, health care workers, partners, etc through various campaigns were taken up across the city. This project was selected as one of the top 6 case studies among the 26 funded by SARDM in South Asia and made a presentation at the plenary session of the South Asia Regional Knowledge Sharing Forum in March 2010.

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Karnataka, India