“Mujhe bahut achcha lag raha hai ki jo kuch maine seekha hai us jaankari ko aaj mai doosre logon tak pahunchane mei saksham hu. Nirantar ki madad se aaj mere paas apna ‘Pan Card’ bhi hai lekin is se jyada mere aatam-vishwas badha hai”. (I feel so good that I am able to transfer the knowledge that I have learned through my practical experience to others. Thanks to Nirantar I have my Pan card, but more than that my self-confidence has increased)
“I, Shantanu Khadag got into drugs at a very young age and could not pursue higher education and it is only once I got in touch with Targeted Intervention project (TI), that I understood about the risks involved in my behaviors and practices. Initially I became a peer educator, then an outreach worker and finally a project implementer.”

Today he is our first mentor to offer assistance and support to PWID TIs in Bhopal in Nirantar!

Shantanu, believes that, ‘it is not only me but almost a hundred other individuals from various backgrounds who have been handpicked, and groomed by Nirantar team to act as mentors in our state. I was deputed with the task of handholding and building skills of TI field teams of outreach workers and peer educators. Moreover, after being assigned for a mentoring task I was asked to furnish my Pan Card number and it seemed like I would lose this assignment as I never thought of having it. It is only after becoming a mentor, I realized the importance of having a PAN card and it is only because of guidance from Nirantar team that I finally got this very prestigious document”.

Shantanu is one of Nirantar’s 50 mentors! A proportionate number amongst our mentors are people from the key population groups who at no point in life had felt the need for such essential documentation required in life. Apart from building capacities, fine-tuning their vocabulary and communication skills and grooming them as technical and programmatic experts, Nirantar has also facilitated in obtaining the relevant documentation required for survival viz. Pan Cards, bank accounts, Aadhar cards. Going by our organizational aim of facilitating rightful, completeness and dignified life for key populations, Nirantar has paved a way for numerous community leaders and molded them as Mentors so they can act as technical and programme experts for the national AIDS prevention and control programme.

The author of this blog is Francis Joseph, Senior Programme Officer, Nirantar