Staff Reporter

NAGERCOIL: A web site on issues of social stigma was launched with the objective of eradicating discrimination.

Vasantham Trust, a non-governmental organisation, has been implementing programmes to eliminate the stigma and discrimination suffered by HIV/AIDS people through story telling clubs in schools in Kanyakumari district, since 2008 with support from the United Nations Development Programme.

There are story telling clubs in 36 schools with 360 members who have developed stories on stigma related issues.

Till date the members have written about 1200 short stories and 1150 essays, along with awareness songs, plays and folk programmes, on the issue. An editorial board of 15 members from the clubs was formed. They were given training in editing, proof reading, browsing and uploading on web sites.

To begin with, 70 stories, 40 essays, five plays and five songs in Tamil were uploaded in the web site. They are being translated into English and uploaded regularly. It has been planned to social market the website to all high and higher secondary schools in Tamil Nadu with the support of TANSACS, said director of the trust, C. Chandra Kala.

Apart from this, ‘Empower,' a cultural troupe of school children, has performed stigma reduction programmes through folk medium.