Oxfam in India - HIV/AIDS prevention work
Case study last updated in December 2004
AIDS educator Purna Chandra Kondpan on his rickshaw. Credit
Oxfam works with several partner organisations to tackle AIDS and
HIV in Orissa, one of the poorest states in India. One per cent
of the Indian population is HIV positive, and nearly four million
people are infected.
Purna Chandra Kondpan is an AIDS educator with Oxfam partner SOVA
who works with the rickshaw-pullers in Jeypore. "Most of the
drivers are illiterate [don't know how to read] and don't know about
AIDS - so it's important that we do this work," he says. "We
put posters on the back of the rickshaws [small two-wheeled carts, a bit like taxis, pulled by someone on a bike]and hold meetings while
we wait for customers."
Over 50 per cent of the population is illiterate in Orissa, so
SOVA and other partners use theatre in local languages to communicate
their message. They also work through AIDS educators such as Purna
who, as a rickshaw-driver himself, is able to relate well to his
particular target audience.
Oxfam's AIDS work in India has had some successes and awareness
of of HIV and AIDS has increased. As truck driver Prem Patra Kartik
says: "I've changed... Initially the truck drivers felt shy
talking about these things. But to save our lives we must not be
shy, and we all talk about AIDS now."
Find out more about India and Oxfam's work there on the main Oxfam
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