AIDS awareness gets child-friendly

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CHILD'S PLAY: Plan India puppet show for AIDS awareness. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
CHILD'S PLAY: Plan India puppet show for AIDS awareness. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Bindu Shajan Perappadan

NEW DELHI: Developed with, by and for children, Plan India with support from the Central Department for International Development launched its innovative child-friendly HIV/AIDS Awareness Package (HAAP) here in the Capital on Wednesday.

Designed to generate awareness on HIV/AIDS, with special focus on removing stigma and discrimination through a variety of tools, the final version of HAAP has also been developed in Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and English.

Plan India is a child-centred development organisation working on the issue of HIV/AIDS across the country and has, under the programme, focused on involving children and addressing their concerns to make them no longer mere recipients but agents of change for HIV/AIDS.

The awareness package that utilises the strengths of both traditional and electronic media contains communication material in the form of puppets, comics, computer games, animation and multimedia.

Plan India executive director Bhagyashri Dengle says: "Plan India with support from the Department for International Development has developed HAAP, which is a first-of-its-kind child-friendly awareness package. The making of HAAP kit was a process that involved children from diverse backgrounds and different States. It included school-going and non-school going children, orphans, children in difficult circumstances and children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Change in perception

The package is aimed at changing the perception of HIV/AIDS from a killer disease to that of a manageable chronic illness. Today's effort is the culmination of the roll out of our four-States dissemination programme that has covered Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and now Delhi, making it a national initiative.''

Quick introduction

The children who have developed the kit also held a quick introduction of the HAPP tools -- puppetry, comics, animation film, computer games and multimedia -- at its launch.

"The development and dissemination of HAAP is an example of an innovative and unique project taken up by Plan India and is in no way an end in itself; rather it marks the initiation of a larger child focused intervention for those living with HIV/AIDS,'' added Ms. Dengle.




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