Sukriti initiatives to create HIV/AIDS awareness

Written by Economy Bureau | Kolkata, Oct 28 | Updated: Oct 29 2007, 07:53am hrs
Many school students frequently visit brothels and indulge in unprotected sex. This startling fact came to the fore when Sukriti Foundation, a Kolkata based non-governmental organisation, carried out a survey a year back.

According to the findings of the survey, many students visit brothels only out of curiosity, and get tempted to have sex. But they are hardly careful about safe sex and nothing about the AIDS or HIV positive comes to their mind at that point of time.

Sukriti Foundation, with financial assistance from the Lions Club International, a network of 45,000 clubs in 201 counries with 13 lakh members, had devised an awareness programme, 'Reach Out', where students themselves took part to create awareness among the fraternity on HIV/AIDS.

Abhijit Dasgupta, secretary, said the foundation has the privilege of using the TV as a platform. "We decided to organise a contest, in which secondary-level students wrote motivational stories with HIV/AIDS as the theme. Short films (each having a duration of 10 minutes) were made based on the three best stories and were shown on a TV channel."

Around 3200 students from 100 schools participated in the contest and 10 best stories were selected and read out during a television show.

Finally, based on viewers' feedback, three stories written by Tushar Saha (Behala High School, class IX), Zia Toufen (Howrah Hat High School, class IX) and Shreyashee Halder (Hartley High School, class X) were selected and made into three short films--Jiban Sroth, Gunah and Clara My Little Angel, respectively.

Sukriti is now planning another project, Beyond Belief, which will bring to light the immense determination of the physically challenged people. The Lions Club International has once again agreed to fund the project, Dasgupta said.