The Need & BMST’s Response
In the early 1980s, BMST started community health education to ensure a resource pool of healthy and risk-free blood donors. We offered awareness about STI (Sexually Transmitted infections), Hepatitis B & C, the infections which could be transmitted through blood transfusion from a donor to a patient. In 1986, with the advent of HIV/AIDS, we included information about this new infection as well.
Over time, we realised that there was very little awareness about HIV/AIDS in the community. This prompted us to design AIDS education programmes for youth. To capture and retain the attention of our audience and to deal sensitively with the issues around sexual transmission, we included life-skills based interactive games. In 2003-05 this morphed into the BMST “Family Life, Values and Life Skills” programme. In 2004-05 BMST added the “School AIDS Education Programme” (SAEP) to the stable. Issues covered included Gender Awareness, Sexual and Reproductive Health, General Life Skills, Alcohol and Drug abuse, Sexual abuse, STIs and HIV/AIDS.
We have come a long way and today BMST offers the following Community Service Programmes and services:
Networking – the Way Forward
- “Life Is Precious” (Amulya Jeevana):
“HIV/AIDS” and “Gender Awareness, Reproductive Health (Sexual Abuse) & related Life Skills” adolescent education programmes in English and Kannada for youth in high schools and colleges. This includes interactive animated cartoon CDs. The two audio-visual teaching-learning classroom aids have been successfully used by teacher and Peer Educator facilitators in over 600 colleges in Karnataka between 2006- 2012.
In response to the need expressed by visually challenged persons, we developed an audio-CD series version of “Life Is Precious”. This programme is currently running in four Bangalore based NGOs.
- "Nammagaagi Naave”,
(October 2010 to Mar 2013): a collaborative, participative action research programme set in workplaces. This programme was developed in recognition of the fact that there are other social determinants of HIV vulnerabilities which need to be addressed, such as domestic violence, alcohol abuse, lack of awareness about sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS and lack of awareness and access to service providers. The aim of the programme is to improve health outcomes of worker populations in the long run by raising awareness and building individual and collective responsibilities to reduce gender discrimination, gender based violence, alcohol abuse and HIV vulnerabilities. It also aims to improve health seeking behaviour related to sexual and reproductive health. This ongoing programme is positioned as the garment company’s CSR initiative.
Over the years, recognising the importance of networking and knowledge sharing, we have built a large network of like-minded collaborative and implementing partners – Government agencies, NGOs, donor organisations and individual volunteers. Besides community health education we also offer counselling, testing and referral services for sexual and reproductive health to the general public.
We are committed to provide community services to suit the need of the audience and welcome suggestions and collaborations in this direction.
Implementation Support, Technical & Strategic Partners
- Levis Strauss Foundation
- ICICI Bank
- DSERT (Department of State Education, Research & Training)
- KSAPS (Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society)
- TTK LIG Pvt Ltd,
- Intel Technologies India Pvt. Ltd
- HIVOS (Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation, Netherlands)
- NSS (National Social Service) Karnataka.
- National Association for the Blind, Jeevan Bhima Nagar, Blr
- Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled
- Mitra Jyoti Trust
- EiGHT (Equity in Gender & Health Trust)
- TTK Hospital Chennai
- Mahiti Infotech