Superstars come together with TeachAIDS to promote HIV education in schools and reach the last mile
Twenty-two of our country's celebrated icons including Amitabh Bachchan, Akkineni Nagarjuna, Shabana Azmi, Suhashini Maniratnam, Anushka Shetty, Sudeep, Suriya, Imran Khan and Shruti Hassan star in animations to promote HIV prevention for Indian youth. His Holiness the Dalai Lama blesses theie efforts of TeachAIDS, an initiative spun out of Stanford University.
TeachAIDS India Trust, an NGO founded by Indian American Social Activist and Lecturer at Stanford University Dr. Piya Sorcar along with Trustee Amala Akkineni, today announced the Global Launch of TeachAIDS online library with instructional animated TeachAIDS multi-media interactive content that can be used by health educators and laypersons for free. World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1st and dedicated to "Getting to zero" - zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero HIV-related deaths.
Explaining the vision behind TeachAIDS, Dr. Piya Sorcar said through in-depth research and intensive localization, the NGO creates state-of-the-art HIV education materials and makes them available for free and accessible to those who need them most. "We are humbled that this initiative has the support of the most iconic cultural figures of India who have donated their voices and personalities to this movement", said Dr. Sorcar. "This World AIDS Day, we are delighted to announce that the interactive media will be distributed this month!"
Speaking at the launch Amala Akkineni Actress and Trustee of TeachAIDS India said "Every young person has a need to know how to be safe in a world with HIV; prevention is critical where there is no cure. I am so grateful to TeachAIDS for providing this valuable education material free of cost for the children of India. The fact remains that many are unaware that they carry HIV. " Amala Akkineni says. "Our goal is to distribute 100,000 master copies systematically to schools, hospitals, and counseling centers beginning this month to increase knowledge levels about HIV."
Shri C Partha Sarathi, APC & Secretary, Agriculture & Co-Operation Dept., was the Andhra State AIDS Control Society Project Director when the TeachAIDS products were piloted and initially released. He says, "We rolled out 25,000 copies of the materials into schools, counseling facilities, clinics, and to NGOs. The response to the TeachAIDS software was spectacular and filled a learning gap among children which was missing. With the launch of the new language versions, I am immensely pleased and hopeful that all children of India will be armed with this critical life-saving prevention education."
Shri Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, Information Technology, says "Digital Telangana kiosks are a critical piece of the last mile infrastructure which is being rolled out systematically into all villages. Once these kiosks are setup, we intend to deliver a multitude of digital content to increase knowledge levels, to change attitudes, to create hope and eventually to motivate action. I am extremely pleased that the very first digital content that we are rolling out is on HIV prevention, prepared by TeachAIDS. We've found the materials to be extremely creative, culturally-sensitive and viewer friendly."
"These online and offline interactive materials are available for free download in multiple Indian languages. They are a product of 5+ years of effort, thousands of donated hours from hundreds of talented people, and crores of rupees of expenditure. We hope people will utilize this content not just to empower themselves but others as well." Piya added.
Super Star Amitabh Bachchan who willingly offered his support for the TeachAIDS movement by lending his voice for the Hindi and English HIV animated software said: "its laudable, humane work TeachAIDS is carrying out, in creating a united front to combat HIV/AIDS, by means of educational material for children world over, I am positive it will go a long way to tackle this epidemic by breaking the silence and removing the stigma that surrounds this disease."
The TeachAIDS launch features an unprecedented collaboration between leading actors from various film industries all over the country, including:
Hindi — starring voices: Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Imran Khan, Shruti Haasan
Telugu — starring voices: Nagarjuna, Anushka Shetty, Navdeep Pallapollu, Swati
Tamil — starring voices: Suriya, Siddharth, Anushka Shetty, Shruti Haasan
Kannada — starring voices: Sudeep, Suhasini Maniratnam, Anu Prabhakar, Vijay Raghavendra
Assamese — starring voices: Malaya Goswami, Pranjal Saikia, Kopil Bora, Zerifa Wahid
Odia — starring voices: Prashanta Nanda, Aruna Mohanty, Anu Choudhury, Akash Das Nayak
English — starring voices: Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Imran Khan, Shruti Haasan
Expressing his view, His Holiness the Dalai Lama who wholeheartedly lent support for TeachAIDS initiative said "any human activities or project, particularly like this, which is serving and helping needy people is really wonderful" as he blessed the efforts of the NGO. "I believe every human activities or actions ultimately have to do with motivation. So, compassionate motivation and inner strength, self-confidence that brings enthusiasm or determination" His Holiness the Dalai Lama added.
Spun out of Stanford University, TeachAIDS (www.teachaids.org) is a nonprofit social venture that creates breakthrough software solving numerous persistent problems in HIV and AIDS prevention around the world.
TeachAIDS HIV education material was born after 5+ years of R&D at Stanford University and delivers HIV education software to 80+ countries in collaboration with 250 national and international organizations, NGO'S, governments, 300 volunteers to spread awareness about one of the most pressing public health challenges faced by mankind and to encourage preventive strategies among those at risk. Incorporating the voices and personalities of leading cultural icons, TeachAIDS provides the most effective HIV educational software to the world — for free.
Funding: Despite heavy investment in R&D, TeachAIDS makes all its materials available at no cost thanks to it's corporate sponsors and donors, including Stanford University, Mahindra & Mahindra, Cigna International, Dream Blue Foundation, a corporate foundation of BTI Solutions, Inc., Nimmagadda Foundation, Deloitte, and Google.
Awards and goals: TeachAIDS was honored by the prestigious Tech Awards and was named an organization that will "change the world" by MIT Technology Review. For information, visit TeachAIDS.org.
TeachAIDS hopes public health and medical professionals, patient advocates and activists will use their platform to draw public attention to the epidemic by making use of the extensive tools created to increase knowledge levels about HIV education.
TeachAIDS is optimistic of building and nurturing partnerships as it moves forward to support and participate in the globally shared goals: zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero HIV-related deaths.