Mansa, September 8
There are 9,950 drug addicts in Punjab using the needle to inject drugs. This information was obtained under the RTI Act by Mansa resident Vinod Kumar. Replying to his query, the Punjab State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh, revealed that there are 13,850 sex workers in Punjab and 2,550 homosexuals.
The society informed that funds were released every year to 53 NGOs in Punjab. As many as 50 NGOs were given Rs 6.56 crore during 2010-2011. These NGOs provided syringes, condoms and literature to addicts and sex workers.
Talking to TNS, volunteers of these NGOs said more and more people were taking to drugs, despite the awareness drive by the government. Mansa districts had 700 female sex workers, 100 homosexuals and 250 drug addicts.
Local residents feel the government must ensure that the NGOs use the funds judiciously. “Since no one in our society will come forward and accept condoms or syringes, the money might be misused by some of these NGO’s”, RTI activist Vinod Kumar said. He said a formal complaint had been lodged in this regard with the Mansa police.