STAR OF THE DAY
What you aspire can be achieved

Tushar – Generating AIDS Awareness

TusharDubbed as the most deadly ailment human body has ever fought, scientists have been running a race against time for years now to find a cure to the deadly human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The manners in which this lethal virus can infect (sexual intercourse, use of infected needles, saliva and vaginal secretion of infected individuals and from HIV-infected mother to baby) makes the human body more vulnerable to it.

This – coupled with the fact that there is no cure yet available – has woken up the world to generate more and more awareness to prevent this fatal disease from spreading. Unfortunately, India is still fighting hard to do that, thanks to the increasing poverty and relatively low literacy levels. However, our “Star of the Day’ today is doing every bit to do that in a manner that is unique in itself but well thought out and can do wonders if the government lends its ear to it.

Hailing from a conservative background, Mr. Tushar has started a movement that calls for “No Marriage Without Health Check-up” – which is also the slogan for his campaign“White Rumaal” (handerkchief). When asked what does this mean and how he thought of starting this, he narrates the following story.

“One of my close friends married her only child, a 21-year-old daughter, to a supposedly sought-after NRI groom. Just after 3 months into her marriage, the girl flew back home, completely distraught with her state of affairs. The reason she gave sent the whole family into a state of shock. She said that an incidental medical report of her husband has found him to be HIV positive. Fearing the worst, she also got herself tested for the same and was also found to be HIV positive, which she contracted from her husband. Today that girl is no more and her father, who was one of my closest friends, couldn’t bear the loss and died soon after.”

The incident changed Tushar’s perception towards the disease that until this time was something he often heard about in media. Being father of a daughter himself, Tushar couldn’t stop himself from starting a movement that would generate awareness against the disease. That’s how ‘White Rumaal’ was born.

He is trying to spread the word around through blogs (www.whiterumaal.wordpress.com), newspapers, TV channels, peaceful demonstrations, etc; and then once the campaign gathers momentum and strength, he will knock at the door of lawmakers to make health checkup a lawful compulsion before marriage.

Knowing how conservative the Indian society is, the idea may not find favor at once and could also face rebellion from some fundamentalists. Nevertheless, Tushar has done something that not many have thought of and for that he is our ‘Star of the Day’.

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