Karkare's memory inspires cop to take up cause of HIV patients

PTI Posted online: Sunday, Dec 01, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Chandrapur : A man and a woman, both HIV positive, would be tying the knot at a function on the occasion of World AIDS Day i.e Dec 1.

The wedding is being organised by a Pune-based NGO, Network of Maharashtra by People Living with HIV Positive ('NMP+'), in association with Chandrapur Traffic Police Department.

The traffic police department is involved in the cause, thanks to the inspiration provided by former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Inspector Pundlik Sapkale, who heads the city's Traffic Department, told reporters here yesterday that it was the memory of Karkare, who had initiated HIV awareness programme in Chandrapur during his stint in the district, that inspired him to support the initiative.

The late IPS officer was Superintendent of Police in Chandrapur in 1990s.

"He inspired me," said Sapkale. Vijay Bhende, convener of NMP+, said the organisation had so far arranged eight marriages of HIV positive couples.

"HIV has become a social taboo and patients sometimes don't disclose their condition when looking for a partner. Sometimes it leads to marriage of an HIV positive person with a healthy man or woman, without the latter being aware of it. To avoid such situations, we encourage HIV patients to find a partner from the HIV positive community," Bhende said.

The identity of such couples is kept confidential, he added.