According to 2001 census Ganjam has 31.37 lakh inhabitants with an equal sex ratio out of which 86.62% live in villages in more than 50000 households. Literacy rate in the district is 53% with a female literacy rate of 40%against 66% male literacy rate. Ganjam is prone to severe floods, cyclone and drought. Regular onslaught of natural calamities has limited their livelihood options and opportunities. This has resulted in mass migration especially from rural Ganjam to industrial towns like Surat, Alang & Ahmadabad in Gujarat and Mumbai, Pune & other cities of Maharashtra. Migration is a regular feature in the life of people and seasonal migration is evident all along the year. The similar character is here with the migrants (In migrants) working in Industrial estates & Construction sites of Berhampur town and Periphery area in Ganjam District like in 30 Granite processing units (Industries), Gopalpur Port, Food Corporation of India and Cement go down in Jagannathpur etc. The people from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu and from Andhra Pradesh are engaged and many of them working here without family.

The migrants lead a life where many of their needs remain unattended. Exploitation by employers, underpayment, child labour, sexual exploitation, adds to their vulnerability to HIV infection and other health hazards. Absence of family care, guidance affects their social life adversely. In a disturbed social life, hazardous work condition and influence of peers drag them to indulge in risk sex practices. It has been seen that high-risk sex practice is increasing among them due to easy access to FSWs.

In the large construction sites of Berhampur town not only the young boys and girls are working but the spouses and the family members of the out migrants are also working. In connection to the STD and HIV infection these group is more vulnerable because the risk associated for them from both the side. As there is lake of knowledge on safer sex as well as sexual health education and in access to the information on available services, these factors contributes to rapidly spreading of HIV/AIDS in general population of Ganjam. Most of the HIV positive people identified in the district are either migrants or immediate family members of migrants. There are number of HIV widows, orphans in villages.

GPSS and Its Potential

Realizing the growing devastating incidental impact of such situational status in Ganjam, the organization has concentrated on Health Issues in different parts of Ganjam district with focus on the underprivileged and vulnerable groups which in fact aggravates vulnerability to entire society in the entire Ganjam district in particular and Orissa State in general. Keeping in view this aspect under consideration – GPSS has made targeted intervention on HIV/AIDS in different parts of Ganjam since last five years. As yet, GPSS does have ten years experience in targeted intervention with migrants that have enriched its understanding and has enabled it to incept new innovations to make its existing efforts more successful and rather sustainable. Moreover, experienced with working in SETU Project for safe migration, safe sexual health, safe motherhood & child survival and care & support to PLHA in 08 GPs of Aska Block as a co-partner of the voluntary organization ARUNA working in Ganjam district being supported by LEPRA Society and CRS.

The Intervention and Impact

As a part of its sustained efforts – the organization has undertaken activities in Targeted Intervention on In Migrants during the current years intervention with the Goal to reduce the high vulnerability of STD&HIV/AIDS among the 5000 In-Migrants and labour force of Industrial Estate and Construction sites in Berhampur town and periphery area of Ganjam District through Intensive Behaviour Change Communication, Condom Promotion, STI Treatment, PLHA Support and Networking and Referral Services including the in built strategy of community mobilization. With its concentrative efforts, organization witnessed following impacts out of its intervention of the current year.

Knowledge on STD/HIV/AIDS is increased.
Minimized the social stigma and discrimination on STD/HIV/AIDS.
Reduced shyness to open discussion about condom, its use and purchase.
Reduced myths and misconceptions, cultural believes and ignorance on STD.
Reduced the rate of STD prevalence through identification, Treatment, Referral & Counseling of STD cases.
Practicing high-risk (sexual) behavior is decreased.
Increased safe sex practices and reduced high-risk (sexual) behavior.
Established condom out lets and increased condom social marketing.
Increased Uses of condom correctly and consistently among target population.
Increased knowledge about relationship between STD and HIV/AIDS,

Despite its regular efforts & constant touch with stakeholders – the organization has faced a number of challenges, especially in context of enhancing level of understanding and knowledge regarding STD/HIV/ AIDS among stakeholders and create better enabling environment to reduce social stigma/discrimination in connection with STD, HIV & PLHA.

Future Plan

For streamlining its present efforts with future action and ensure continuing momentum of its existing efforts – organize will focus on following aspects:
Focusing the migration issues in Ganjam District through advocacy, networking and linkages for safe and informed migration for the current migrants, potential migrants and spouses of the migrants to prevent/control of the rapid spreads of STI and HIV/AIDS.
To organize migrants to identifying their own issues and to fight for their rights through capacity building, training & to dovetailing with Govt. schemes to minimize migration.
To expand the area of intervention for prevention and control of STI and HIV/AIDS
To work with the PLWHA for community level rehabilitation, Stigma reduction, Rights and to bring them in to main streaming.
To work in the field of Agricultural livelihood program for ensuring food security.
To develop the life style of the slum population through addressing the issues of health, hygiene and skill building.

The organization very well understands that it’s critical understanding about issues around HIV/AIDS and networking is its strength to meaningfully implement the project and keeping all stakeholders remain involved in project work all along. The organization has a strong believe that - through its existing well-scheduled participatory action-learning process it can bring some tangible change in the state of living of the targeted population and some eye-catching change in the present scenario of Ganjam district.