|We need Mr. Manipur Pradipkumar’s muscles to fight AIDS!
|By: Dr. Rajkumar Singh *
Pradipkumar’s new title is no mean achievement. Consider how many budding and successful sportsmen and women may have been killed silently by the sheer loss of hope when diagnosed with HIV and subsequently stigmatized in the society they lived.
The lives and careers of celebrity sportspersons like Tommy Morison (American heavyweight boxer of Rocky-V fame), Arthur Ashe (American Tennis Star), and figure skating superhero Rudy Galindo tumbled down when they were diagnosed with HIV. They achieved first and became a victim of HIV later.
Pradipkumar became a victim of HIV first, fought against it and achieved his career afterwards. These case stories are unparallel and rather opposite. Pradipkumar is now working hard to build his body to contest the Mr. India title absolutely guided by his desire to live and strong will to show to the world that an HIV patient can live and achieve. He is now an icon of inspiration for millions of HIV patients.
I remember the precious advice of a physician to Earvin (Magic) Johnson, the HIV-infected American Basketball player, “The only thing I want you to do is to become the face of HIV-AIDS. You can change things”! This clicked marvelously.
Earvin started living with a renewed sense of purpose of life. He opted to help the American black youths with HIV-AIDS education. By now, Earvin has led a vibrant life for more than 15 years after the hope shattering diagnosis, founded the Magic Johnson Foundation in California (U.S.) and, he is currently working in HIV-AIDS education benefiting millions.
Physicians and social workers instead of using one-on-one mode of counseling HIV patients can reach a million patients at a time together through the mouth of a person like Magic Johnson.
What has Mr. Manipur Pradipkumar in store ahead? The news of his recent success has spread worldwide. Google his name with HIV and Mr. Manipur suffixed to it and you will see a long list of references. This news will simply stale out if you and I fail to realize its value in HID-AIDS mission.
Pradipkumar has established his relevance to two important aspects of Manipur:
1. a tiny state of India respected as the fertile breeding ground of sportspersons in India,
2. a hot spot of IDUs and HIV infection for India. He is now an ambassador of Manipur to the world symbolizing these two aspects.
A recent news article in Imphal Free Press (Jan 03, 2008) based on the annual report of the Manipur State AIDS Control Society (MSACS), Imphal pointed out that the present HIV-AIDS management programs in Manipur need more emphasis on addressing to psychosocial aspects of the disease.
The incidence rate of 28 thousand positive people in a population of 2 millions compounded with the new twist of the problem with hepatitis- C co-infection demand innovative approaches more than the existing awareness and sensitization programs criticized as redundant. Pradip Kumar’s success provides a show-case to be picked up by whosoever working in the social intervention of HIV-AIDS.
Pradipkumar has three distinct audiences to speak to:
He needs compassion and support of all organizations, government and non-government working in the field of HIV-AIDS and also in sports. He has already received recognition and monetary helps from some HIV-AIDS NGOs and individuals based in Manipur. Kudos to these people and organizations.
To enhance the effectiveness of his promised service to the society, we need to increase the visibility of Pradipkumar by encouraging him to win the Mr. India title in March 2008. He has publicly invited helps from all quarters for his equipment and food supplement.
If you love him and like his mission, you can support him simply by sending him a word of sympathy. You can spread this news to all concerned worldwide. All the Manipuris wherever they are in the world should be proud of this man. Let him succeed and serve.
(If you want to know more about him and his mission, please visit: www.helppradipkumar.bravehost.com/)
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* Dr. Rajkumar Singh, an Environmental Scientist from Toronto, Canada, contributed regularly to e-pao.net . The writer can be contacted at raj_ss(at)rogers(dot)com . This article was webcasted on January 22nd, 2008
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