“The Candlelight Memorial is important to people living with HIV,” said Kevin Moody, CEO of the Global Network of People living with HIV. “The memorial is more than a moment to remember our loved ones. It is a moment to look forward to the future of the HIV.”
“The only way to honour those who have passed away, is to do everything to improve the lives of people living with HIV,” he said.
LIGHTING A CANDLE FOR THOSE LOST TO AIDS
Over 300 citizens and young people from schools, social organisations, and collegeswalked with lighted candles to remind society that HIV AIDS continues to bringbereavement and loss to hundreds of families in the region. This was part of theInternational AIDS candlelight observance [ IACM ], a citizens' initiative on Sunday15 May. The theme for this year is 'Touching Lives'.
"The Memorial is a community effort involving Kurji Holy family Hospital, NavjeevanCommunity Care Centre, Progressive Foundation, EFICOR, Positive People'sNetworks, schools, Bihar Bal Bhawan, and several of the city's leading citizens,"said Frank Krishner of AASRA Charitable Trust. AASRA Charitable Trust is the Patnacoordinating organisation of The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.
The event is observed to underline the fact that HIV and AIDS takes away fromamong us valuable human lives, and that the struggle against AIDS is not justan 'NGO responsibility or a government responsibility, but every man woman andchild has a stake in ensuring that HIV infections do not occur.
"It is also a reminder of the human face of HIV. The event points to the fact thatthose people living with HIV are productive citizens who deserve dignity, and accessto medicines and treatment," stated Divya, the counsellor at Navjeevan CommunityCentre, a hospice in Kurji for people living with HIV and AIDS
The programme began from the Red Cross Bhawan premises at 6 pm. It consistedof spiritual readings, songs, and references to those lost to HIV-AIDS. Candles werelit at 6:45 and then the candle-light walk to JP Golamber [Maurya roundabout] tookplace. The candles were placed in front of the circle at 7 pm.
Navjeevan Community Care Centre, Progressive Foundation, EFICOR are partners inwhat is slated to be a week of AIDS awareness activities under GAWA [Global AidsWeek of Action], which was kicked off by the candle-light observance.
"The Theme 'Touching Lives' tells us that HIV touches every aspect of life, and thateven though most people do not have HIV, the syndrome touches us in one way oranother" said Mahesh Khosla of EFICOR.
With the theme "Touching Lives…" the Candlelight Memorial is highlighting howHIV has touched the lives of many people. "Touching Lives…" also refers to how animproved HIV response with more treatment access, better prevention methods
AASRA CHARITABLE TRUST, Resource Centre, House 1, Road 1, Opposite Church, New PatliputraColony, Patna: Frank Krishner 93344 90050/ office 0612-3290987
and respect for human rights and dignity touches the lives of people living with andaffected by HIV, said Sanjeet of Progressive Foundation.
"In 2010, we knew that in India, we have managed to bring the AIDS pandemicunder control. And it is a job well done - celebration of true partnership of the CivilSociety and the Government. But the epidemic is not over yet. Each day someone isgetting infected. Each day someone is dying. We cannot be complacent, or else therewill be a resurgence of the epidemic," Mr Frank Krishner warned in his openingaddress.
The IACM is coordinated globally by GNP+ - the Global Network of Positive People.AASRA Charitable Trust has been coordinating the event in Patna since 2001. In2009, 2010, the event was coordinated by Holy Family Hospital and NavjeevanCommunity Centre. ACT India and UCP Sarnet have generously provided materialand technical support.
Beside this we sent fax to letter to All State AIDS Control Socities , Chief Minister of State and Helth Minister asking support and implemention of GIPA Policy and support HIV/AIDS bill which is pending for long time.
Soon I am posting photos , video and letters.