Times of India
19 February 2011
A two–day convention, organized by the Art of Living, a non–profit educational and humanitarian NGO, in collaboration with the Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS), began on Saturday where religious leaders from across the state will participate to spread awareness against HIV/AIDS.
Swami Divyananda of Art of Living said on Saturday with active participation of religious leaders, the disease can be thrown out of society."Initially, we started our mission in 2008. Since then gradually we have stepped up our campaign. With participation of all, we will be able to throw away AIDS from society," he said.
The Art of Living believes in spreading the message of love and humanity to deal with people infected with HIV.
"I have met several people who are infected with the virus. They are just human beings like us. They need love and care from us to lead their lives normally," said Richa Chopra who has been involved with various humanitarian activities across the country.
"We can definitely help people by extending our care for them and encourage them to lead a normal life. A word of love could be a vital medicine for some people," she said, adding that the seminar would help the religious leaders to experience the idea and spread the message across to people.
Assam health commissioner and secretary Prateek Hajela who was also present during the inaugural session of the seminar said prevention was the best way to pluck AIDS out of our world.
"The number of people infected with the virus has crossed 25 lakh in India and we need to be more conscious to stop its spread further. Besides, we need to be generous to those who have been infected already. We should not hurt them with our behaviour," he said.
Ashish Bhutani GMDA commissioner and secretary stressed on the role of religious leaders and teachers in the society to prevent spread of AIDS. "People believe more in religious leaders. If they decide to shoulder the responsibility, I think they can bring about a change," said Bhutani.
Religious leaders from various parts of the state actively took part in the session and exchanged their feelings and experiences.
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