Anjali Gopalan

Ashoka Fellow
India
Fellow Since 2006

Citation

This profile was prepared when Anjali Gopalan was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Anjali founded the Naz Foundation, a citizen organization (CO) to offer a range of prevention, support, and care programs that meet the needs of underserved populations around sexual identity and related issues, especially for women and MSM (men having sex with men) groups. Anjali is widening the scope of HIV prevention and care services by demonstrating how HIV+ children can be mainstreamed in existing home child-care and facilities. This is a necessity in a resource impoverished country like India, and will be beneficial to both the government and society.

Anjali is building nationwide awareness around care of orphaned and vulnerable HIV+ children. Initially, she has prepared a training manual and provides training programs to build the capacity and skills of state and CO residential institutions providing care to children with AIDS—reducing stigma and discrimination. The project seeks to provide more opportunities for the care and support of HIV+ children in their residences.

Anjali’s program monitors and is able to detect infections and effective treatment; admission of abandoned children who are denied adoption due to their HIV+ status, with special focus on the girl child who is doubly discriminated against by families who lay greater premium on the boy child; maintain confidentiality regarding their status; ensure their right to education and adequate healthcare; lobby for laws to protect children with the disease; sensitize officials, doctors, teachers, and care-givers at all levels; and last, but not the least, cater to the affected children’s unique psychosocial needs.

She has also created a home-based care program to train families in care-giving. Anjali believes a child should only be placed in institutional care if orphaned, and she will not admit children with extended families. The home-based care program—which currently supports 350 families—is designed to ultimately empower communities to respond as well as possible to the epidemic.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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