DEC 02, 2011, Kathmandu – Remembering the day when world has discovered the deadly disease named HIV/AIDS back in 1981, Nepal also started prompting personal health, and to aware people to prevent from the pandemic.
Nepal’s Bankers has staged a road show this year to mark the day.
December 1, 9 am—office hours; so understandably everybody’s in a rush. Jammed traffic lined the Baneshwor chowk on all four sides and people were scurrying about, hurrying to get to work. However, there seemed to be something going on somewhere about the courtyard of the Standard Chartered Bank that had managed to catch the attention of the maddening crowd. A mass of people had formed around a group of bank staff who were enacting a street drama-Jyoti, on the occasion of World HIV AIDS Day.
An initiate of the Standard Chartered Bank, the drama pointed out some very relevant facts about the nature of HIV and AIDS. Man Bahadur has recently returned from Qatar and is oblivious to the fact that he is HIV positive. When he falls ill, the villagers take him to a dhami (witch doctor) where a health worker urges his wife and family to take him to the doctor. When Bahadur is identified as HIV positive, the village mukhiya (chairman) decides to oust him, and it is at this point that the doctors and health volunteers come out and talk about HIV AIDS, and the fact that those who suffer from the syndrome should not be treated as outcasts, but as individuals who can lead normal lives as functioning members of society.
Most of the onlookers and staff had red ribbons pinned conspicuously over their chests. “This is the first time we have organized a street drama. It is a powerful means of sending a positive message to the public in terms of bringing awareness on HIV and AIDS and is part of the advocacy involved in removing the stigma attached to the condition,” shares Bina Rana, Head of Human Resources at the Standard Chartered Bank. Rana adds, “Our staff are given three months worth of basic awareness training on HIV AIDS along with other health and environment subjects. All our branches have HIV Champions who volunteer to train other staff members on HIV awareness.”
All together 10 staffers from the bank participated in the staging of the drama. The props and costumes were well-appreciable as well. The crew members then moved on to stage the same drama at Lazimpat and Lalitpur over the course of the day.