Bengaluru: The Karnataka State Aids Prevention Society (KSAPS), which is under the Health and Family Welfare Department, have squandered funds, alleges BJP city unit spokesperson and former corporator N. R. Ramesh. He also accused former Health Minister, Mr. U. T. Khader of misusing his powers by appointing a single official in charge of multiple departments. In short, favouritism.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Ramesh said that the KSAPS has deviated from its duty of creating awareness about the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and to rehabilitate and cousel HIV victims and has instead, involved itself in promoting condoms of a private company.
The officials of KSAPS are also not able to provide any documents to show how funds obtained from the UNICEF, National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) and other bodies were spent. This is an indication that the money was misused.
What is alarming is that even the Gates Foundation, founded by the chief of MicroSoft, Bill Gates, provides grants to the KSAPS. He also goes on to say that at least Rs. 500 crores were misused.
Ironically, though the KSAPS claims to have spent the money on awareness and rehabilitation, the number of AIDS cases in the state have gone up, added Mr. Ramesh.
“The KSAPS was founded to create awareness and rehabilitation and has miserably failed in its primary duty. Instead, it has taken up the Condom Social Marketing Programme in Karnataka, which encourages sex workers and HIV victims to use condoms. This is an indication that it is promoting prostitution”, he alleged.
“Although homosexuality is not encouraged and is ‘illegal’ in the country, the KSAPS provides data that 29,730 homosexuals were treated. Does this mean that the KSAPS initially encouraged homosexuality and now treats them too?” he questioned.
Mr. Ramesh said that complaints have been filed at the State Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and CBI’s ACB for lapses on their part. “A complaint has been lodged against the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as he is also the Chairman of the KSAPS and has failed to ensure that the money is utilized properly”. “He must know as a chairman what the society is doing”, he added.
One person three posts
Former Health Minister U. T. Khader had absorbed Ms. Leela Sampige in three plum posts and had given her drawing officer powers, too. Ms. Sampige had been absorbed as the joint director of the National Health Mission (NHM), joint director of KSAPS and a member secretary of the Study committee on the plight of sex workers.
But, following the complaint to the Women and Child Welfare Minister Malashree, she has promised to initiate action. Ms. Sampige has stopped reporting to office for the last three months, he added....