Policy Change and Effective Programme Implementation are possible only when there is constant and continuous advocacy with the policy makers and programme implementers. With this in mind, Pro-Vision paid attention to advocacy to make sustainable changes.
Having co-ordinated the relief and rehabilitation activities of the NGOs and INGOs among the Tsunami affected people of Kanniyakumari district, Pro-Vision continued its role through advocacy. As almost all the INGOs withdrew their active and direct presence and majority of the NGOs reduced their work with the tsunami affected people, structurally co-ordinated advocacy came down. Pro-Vision through advocacy with the district administration, facilitated implementation of rehabilitation activities among the tsunami affected people.
In the context of Tirunelveli district, enhancement of the quality of life of PLHIV and their family members necessarily called for advocacy. Treatment seeking, registration in the ART centre, Accessing ART and Adherence to ART are important for the PLHIV. With this in mind, a committee consisting of a Medical Officer, three Project staff and five PLHIV representatives was formed to indulge in constant advocacy with the concerned departments. The committee meets once in a month, reviews the issues faced by the PLHIV in accessing the available treatment services and takes up advocacy with the concerned department.
A few major impacts of the planned advocacy were the issues faced by the PLHIV in the ART centre were addressed effectively. A few changes effected were: the basic facilities like drinking water and toilet were made available, token systems were introduced, counselling and follow up were made more systematic and legal cell was established. In addition, the long felt need of the PLHIV to get food near the ART centre was fulfilled by establishing food supply by a women self help group. To establish this, a series of advocacy were undertaken with different stake holders including the district collector, college dean and ART medical officer.
Pro-Vision with specialised skills motivated and guided the partners and Nellai Sutram to undertake advocacy to enhance the quality of life of PLHIV. The Committee for Promotion of Treatment Seeking under the chairmanship of Dr. Anburajan met regularly and reviewed the status and took efforts to ensure access to treatment to all PHIV.
Similarly advocacy with the district and taluk administration brought in changes in issuing widow pension to the widow PLHIV. The district collector relaxed certain criteria and facilitated the widow PLHIV accessing the pension. Due to this 48 widow PLHIV got pension from the government.
Another advocacy taken up was with the district administration and the state government on widow pension. The NGOs working on Care and Support motivated the widows to apply for pension. They were followed up with the local administrators. Then a letter campaign was conducted by motivating all PLHIV to apply to the Chief Ministerai??i??s Cell. This evoked good response and nearly 75 PLHIV got widow pension.
Similarly once the OVC trust was established, Pro-Vision along with the partner and district level NGO co-ordination took efforts to register all deserving children and ensure they benefited from the trust.
Nellai Sutram was also guided to take up advocacy. With the guidance, they met the then Deputy Chief Minister, when he visited Tirunelveli. They also met the district Project Manager and represented their needs. Due to these efforts the quality of services available to the PLHIV have improved a little bit.
The Earth Net partners took up the issue of deforestation with the chief conservator and a few steps were taken to strengthen forestation.
Pro-Vision converted all available platforms as an opportunity for advocacy on relevant issues. The network projects, district level co-ordination and Nellai Sutram were forces for advocacy.