Mohanlal for AIDS Campaign

The AIDS campaign in Kerala received a major boost on Monday with Malayalam film superstar, Mohanlal becoming the goodwill ambassador for the Kerala State Aids Control Society.

Kerala has nearly one lakh HIV+ve people and the biggest hurdle to their treatment is the stigma that they have to endure in society.

A few months ago, five HIV+ve children in Kottayam district had to give up their studies when parents of other children objected to their studying in school.

Mohanlal hopes the campaign would serve its purpose. “It is a participation. I represent the visual media. So whatever help I can give, I will. This film I hope will touch the conscience of the people.”

The immense popularity that Mohanlal enjoys among Malayalis will hopefully go a long way in reducing the social stigma attached to the disease.

“With Mohanlal becoming the goodwill ambassador, it becomes easy to campaign in rural areas and everywhere else in Kerala,” said P K Sreemathy, Health Minister.

The Kerala State AIDS Control Society has launched an all-out war against the social stigma that people living with HIV/AIDS have to face through various awareness campaigns.

“(There is) stigma and discrimination at all levels – social level, institutional level and even at the health worker level. To tackle this we need a multipronged approach,” said Rajan Khobragade, Kerala State AIDS Control Society.

“We have a grass-root level activity where we have group of HIV+ve women who are going to the panchayats and telling HIV+ve people that they can lead a positive life and that they are part of society,” said Khobragade.

While celebrities joining AIDS campaigns are welcome and so far they are able to generate an awareness on the epidemic, but for a real and tangible change to be achieved on the ground, a mass movement needs to be created and for that people like you and me need to get involved.

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