India is all set to have its first ever holistic LGBTQ ART center and medical clinic which is being started by one of the country’s pioneering not for profit organization, Humsafar Trust which works relentlessly towards a variety causes for people of the LGBTQ community. To extend her support for the community, actress Richa Chadha would be present to inaugurate this unique project which has been initiated by Humsafar Trust in Mumbai.
Having been working in the space for 25 years now, HMT was founded by reputed journalist and activist Ashok Row Kavi and has been operating to help provide care and support for the sexual minorities in India. The center will now become India’s first ever community center to provide Anti Retroviral Therapy and holistic clinic for the LGBTQ individuals. The center has been set up with the help of Mumbai District State AIDS Control Society (MDACS) and FHI 360. The community-based ART center is a pilot differentiated care supported by Government of India (GOI) that aims to further facilitate uptake of treatment and care among communities who are marginalized and continue to face stigma and discrimination. The center begins its operation with Richa Chadha coming forward to inaugurate the center. Richa has always been vocal with her positive support for the community and was even amongst the ones to support the scrapping of Section 377 which later was in a landmark judgment by the Supreme Court decriminalized in 2018 and was scrapped in a positive move towards human rights in the country.
The center will facilitate access to treatment and care among most-at-risk communities including Transgender community, MSM and Female Sex workers. This center will provide free HIV medications provided by the National AIDS Control Organization. The clinic will also provide mental health counselling and have specialized doctors to monitor lifestyle diseases.
Speaking about it, Richa said, “ It's great that there can be a space where people can come forward without fear of being judged, and get the mental and physical support they need. The Humsafar Trust has been working in this direction for so many years and they have a real sense of the common problems that need to be addressed. Now that #377 has been repealed, I think more such health centers should be there to help bring more inclusivity and access.”