United against AIDS

Thursday, 30 November 2006 - 11:50pm IST
On World AIDs Day, After Hours salutes celebrities who have consistently created awareness about the deadly disease.

On World AIDs Day, After Hours salutes celebrities who have consistently created awareness about the deadly disease

 

Bollywood actor Lara Dutta has been quietly involved with many AIDS causes around the world, which include AmFar (Americans for AIDS Research) and Hale House, a home for children born with HIV and drug addiction, and has worked with the Harvard AIDS Institute by hosting forums and participating in events.

 

Says the former Miss Universe, “AIDS is the most serious issue the world faces today. We need to address it more seriously; even those who are involved in this cause are limited in what they are capable of doing.”

 

She goes on to add , “India could be a super power in a couple of years, but if the country doesn’t take health care seriously, nothing can be achieved. Our young are the future. Not only do they need to be protected, but they also need to be equipped with proper information about this deadly disease. A healthy population leads to a healthy nation.”

 

Fellow actor Bipasha Basu has been a part of the BBC ‘Haath Se Haath Mila’ campaign along with Priyanka Chopra, Sonu Nigam, Viveik Oberoi, Shilpa Shetty, Fardeen Khan, Raveena Tandon, Tabu, Anupam Kher and Dia Mirza. Says the Bengali beauty, “It’s alarming to see the growth rate of AIDS patients in India despite the many NGO’s working towards this cause behind the scenes. We celebrities can contribute by our mere presence because we get media coverage and hence, can help spread awareness. Monetarily we have been blessed with so much, if each of us donated even a little, it would make a difference.”

 

India’s chess legend Vishwanathan Anand might not be a silver screen superstar, but he’s putting his sports celebrity status to good use. The ambassador of Avahan – the AIDS prevention programme of the National AIDS Control Organisation, says, “During my last visit to India I had the opportunity to meet different groups connected with HIV. It was an eye opener. Most of us tend to turn a blind eye towards the issue. We have to realise that they are also humans with dreams of wanting to better their lives.They all just need a little understanding, a little compassion. HIV is a silent killer. India is at a stage where  immediate action can make a difference. We need to talk about the cause, educate ourselves and the people in our environment.”

 


 

Quote unquote

 

“India could be a super power in a couple of years, but if the country doesn't take health care seriously, nothing can be achieved”
Lara Dutta

 

“We celebrities can contribute by our mere presence because we get media coverage and hence, can help spread awareness”
Bipasha Basu

 

“We have to realise that they (HIV infected) are also humans with dreams of wanting to better their lives.They just need a little compassion”
Vishwanathan Anand

 

The Good Samaritans...

 

Political heavyweight Smita Thackeray’s Mukti Foundation has been incessantly working towards AIDS awareness. This year, Mukti has conducted two-day road shows in city and suburban colleges to create awareness amongst the youths.

 

Shabana Azmi has campaigned against the ostracisation of AIDS victims. A small film clipping issued by the Government of India depicts an HIV positive child cuddled in her arms as the actor appeals to the public not to reject the victims.

 

Actor-turned-filmmaker Revathy’s film ‘Phir Milenge’ deals with the sensitive topic of the struggles of an AIDS patient.

 

South superstar Nagarjuna and his wife Amla have been actively involved in this cause in South India.




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