India’s first charity book on AIDS released

August 13th, 2008 - 10:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 13 (IANS) A compilation of writings of some of India best known authors like Salman Rushdie, Kiran Desai, Vikram Seth, Shobhaa De and Sunil Ganguly - “AIDS sutra: Untold Stories from India” - was released here Wednesday to highlight the rarely heard stories of those affected with the fatal disease. Avahan, the AIDS Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has brought out the books in its fight against AIDS/HIV virus.

” ‘AIDS Sutra’ is India’s first charity book. All of us know the statistics that there are nearly 3 million Indians with HIV. But if we want to stop AIDS, we have to embrace them regardless of social class, line of work or circumstances. This starts with telling their stories rarely heard,” Avahan’s programme officer Jayanti Rajagopalan told IANS.

The writers have uncovered different aspects of the disease and its effects in India.

Rushdie has written on the eunuch community in Mumbai while Desai worked with the sex workers on East Godavari. Shobhaa De has written about her driver.

“From Devdasis to truck drivers, from sex workers to homosexuals, from the affected to the doctors who treat them, we have tried to make this book the voice of ordinary people living with this disease,” Rajagopalan said.

The book was first launched at the Mexico World AIDS Conference in the first week of August.

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