Bhubaneshwar, Apr 7 : The Orissa Government has announced plans to provide traveling expenses to AIDS patients to visit the Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) centers from their homes.
Project Director, Orissa State Aids Control Society, Parameswar Swain on Monday said:The scheme will be effective from April 1. The Government has made a budgetary allocation for this purpose."
Swain said full concession would be given on the fare of all public transport services, including buses and trains.
He said the allowance would be given on both to and fro travel and around 1,000 people would benefit from this scheme, while claiming that Orissa was the first state in the country in providing such a facility to AIDS patients.
ART centers in the state are at Maharaja Krishna Chandra Gajapati Medical College and Hospital (MKCG) Medical College Hospital at Berhampur, SCB Medical College Hospital at Cuttack and VSS Medical College Hospital at Burla.
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had announced 50 per cent concession in train travel to HIV positive persons from this year in his Rail Budget 2008-09.
As announced by the Railway Ministry, a concession card would soon be issued to the patients at the ART centre.
Orissa is also the first state to provide monthly pension to AIDS patients.