GUWAHATI, Feb 20 – There was a time in ancient India when religious preachers taught about the ill-effects of paap or sin and the rewards of punya (virtue), and the righteous and God-fearing people listened with utmost care and followed their words like the divine command.
Considering the huge influence the religious teachers still exercise on the common people, the Assam State AIDS Control Society and the Art of Living Foundation have decided to make them the powerful generals in the battle against HIV/AIDS.
With the objective to generate awareness among the religious gurus of all faiths about HIV/AIDS and seeking their help in doing away with the stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS, both the organization held a day-long summit of the spiritual leaders of all faiths from different parts of Assam.
Leaders of different spiritual orientations including the sattras, various temples, mosques, bishops and priests of different churches, preachers of gurudwaras, Jain-gurus, boudhha-bhikshus, and preachers following different cults of Hinduism were among the participants of the summit, who shared their thoughts on the pandemic.
Stressing the need of involving all sections of society in the battle against AIDS, Moromi Hagjer Barman, Project Director of Assam State AIDS Control Society said that from several years’ experience it has been learnt that successful programmes of AIDS prevention and awareness are those, which address how the society reacts to the persons living with HIV/AIDS.