Shivananda with Apachi India, UK South Asian pop star and Durex representative.
However, for Shivananda, the issues of males who have sex with males in the South Asia region, their enormous risks and vulnerability, along with the stigma, discrimination and violence so many faced, along with the very few appropriate services for their sexual health needs that were available, were increasing becoming more and more important to him.
At the same time, London donors were also expressing concern with the amount of work and involvement in South Asia of the Naz Project.
This final led to a fission of the Naz Project into two independent organisations:
Naz Project London that would continue the work and services in the London, UK and Naz Foundation International, which would focus on MSM, HIV and South Asia.
Working with the National AIDS Programme from the Central Asian Republics on developing MSM and HIV programming, Almaty, Kazakhistan
By this time, NFI was supporting: Bandhu, Dhaka, Bangladesh Bharosa, Lucknow, India Milan, Naz India, New Delhi, India Praajak, Calcutta, India Sahodaran, Chennai, India Shramaa, Cochin, India
NFI key staff: 1
India 17 partners from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, with observers from South-East Asia, getting together and sharing knowledge, skills, and experience.
With this trainers network being developed, new projects were also being developed in Comilla, Rajbair and Mymensingh in Bangladesh, Blue Diamond Society expanding in Nepal, Vision developing Nayyab Health Project in Lahore, Pakistan, and in India, MSM community-based services being developed in Bongaon, Imphal, Patna, Pune, Trichy, Vijayawada, and Vishakapatnam
In Kolkata, MANAS Bangla was formed by a group of MSM organisations to deliver community-based sexual health services.
The accusation was that the regional office was really a male brothel, and that NFI and Bharosa were promoting homosexuality.
Initially bail was refused, and the four (eventually labelled as the Lucknow Four internationally) eventually spent 47 days in the Lucknow Jail, before being released on bail on 22nd August 2001.
NFI was able to mobilise an enormous response to this vicious indictment and human rights abuse against itself and one of its partner agencies, including the government of Great Britain, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, UNAIDS, and others. Across India, human rights organisations, lesbian and gay groups, women’s’ organisations, along with a range of individuals and institutions protested, held marches, and sent letters to the appropriate Union and State government officials and bureaucrats While the key charge of promoting homosexuality and aiding and abetting a criminal act (i.e. Section 377) has been dismissed, to this date monthly court appearances are still required
Support provided for the First National MSM Consultation Meetings in Bangladesh and Nepal
2005: Evolution of Naz Foundation International
Providing technical, financial and institutional support to sexual health interventions, educational and development groups and networks in India Placement of 200 individuals as contractual employees and 51 full time employees.
Is developing 36 new MSM community-based HIV organisations and 4 state level MSM technical support facilities in India.
Is developing the National MSM and AIDS Task Forces in Bangladesh and India with a range of partner agencies, as well as 11 advocacy cells across India.
Is working in Pakistan to provide technical assistance to MSM HIV programming, develop a range of MSM community-based HIV interventions, and develop an MSM technical support facility.
Is provided technical assistance to major international non-government organisations and national AIDS programmes working with MSM sexual health in India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand.
Is co-hosting with the National AIDS Control Organisation, India a major consultation meeting for MSM and HIV prevention, care and support programming in Asia and the Pacific in September 2006.
Is developing an online facility to access all NFI resources and other literature on MSM specific issues.
Will continue to implement its Vision, Goal, and Objectives, which are:
Vision: We believe in the innate capacity of low income MSM, where provided with appropriate resources and assistance, can be empowered to take control and improve their own lives living with dignity, social justice and well being.
Mission: To empower socially excluded and disadvantaged males to secure for themselves social justice, equity, health and well being through technical, institutional and financial support with a primary focus on marginalised MSM.
Goal: To reduce the risks of STI/HIV transmission and improve the reproductive and sexual health of males who have sex with males.
Objectives To develop and disseminate replicable, scalable and cost-effective models for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment interventions relevant to MSM behaviours. To build and support a network of state-level “linking organisations” in India and similar national-level organisations in other Asian countries, which have the capacity to provide ongoing assistance to grassroots organisations working directly with MSM populations. To improve the understanding of MSM behaviours and cultures among decision makers, opinion leaders, funders and other influential constituencies, particularly related to HIV/AIDS, social stigma and discrimination, gender and sexual violence. To advocate for policies that recognise the fundamental human rights of men who have sex with other men and create a political and social environment conducive to working with these men and their partners. To secure stable, long-term financial support for appropriate HIV/AIDS-related interventions among MSM populations.
Whether it be MSM reducing risk and improving sexual health