San Leandro, Calif. — TeachAIDS, a groundbreaking nonprofit that uses localized, culturally sensitive content to educate people around the world about HIV/AIDS, announced Dec. 1 — on World AIDS day — that Amitabh Bachchan had joined their cast of Indian stars who have donated their voices and likenesses to the Indian version of the TeachAIDS software.
Founded by Indian American activist Dr. Piya Sorcar at Stanford University, TeachAIDS has released a wide library of instructional videos online that is used by health educators and laypersons at no charge in 78 countries.
“It’s a very exciting time for all of us,” Sorcar told India-West in an e-mail Dec. 2.
Bachchan said in a statement: “As regards the laudable, humane work TeachAIDS is carrying out, in creating a united front to combat HIV/AIDS, by means of educational material for children the world over, I would willingly like to offer my help. We can tackle this epidemic by breaking the silence and removing the stigma that surrounds this disease.”
Its Indian content already includes performances by the likes of Shabana Azmi, Shruti Haasan and Imran Khan (Hindi); Suriya, Anushka Shetty and Sidddharth (Tamil); Suhasini Maniratnam and Sudeep (Kannada); and stars from Odiya and Assamese cinema.
“More than 100,000 master copies will be distributed systematically to schools, hospitals, and counseling centers nationwide early next year,” said a spokesperson in TeachAIDS’ headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. “These versions expand TeachAIDS to include some of the most widely spoken languages in India and the world. In total, these launches make the most sophisticated HIV prevention education tools available to a potential audience of more than half a billion.”
TeachAIDS has been honored by the Tech Awards and was named an organization that will “change the world” by MIT Technology Review. For information, visit TeachAIDS.org.