Saturday, 3 November 2007

Mangalore: Well-known HIV/AIDS Activist Veenadhari is No More

Mangalore: Well-known HIV/AIDS Activist Veenadhari is No More

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (VM)

Mangalore, Nov 2: Well-known social worker and an ardent activist for the rights of HIV infected, Veenadhari passed away on Friday evening in Bangalore.

After a brief term of illness, the Mangalorean former school teacher, a HIV +ve herself, breathed her last in Manipal Hospital, Bangalore.

Veenadhari, who followed and advocated the ayurveda and naturopathy approach to living with HIV/AIDS, was in news when she led a mega drive against the ‘stigmatizing of persons with HIV’ using the red ribbon symbol.

By dedicating her life to the cause of persons with HIV and fighting a daily battle against a society which ostracizes HIV-infected, Veenadhari’s great achievement was the Karavali Positive Women’s and Children’s Network.

Having voiced the concerns of persons with HIV/AIDS at thousands of forums and in national and international seminars, Veenadhari who hailing from a rich family, led a simple life by choice. A full time social worker, Veenadhari was instrumental in identifying women who are infected with HIV and providing them help.

Veenadhari broke up with her husband who unknowingly had passed on the HIV virus to her. When her husband's health deteriorated and he was diagnosed as HIV +ve, it was a deadly blow to Veenadhari. She soon found out that she too had contracted the disease.

The medical fraternity and sections of the government machinery was unhappy with her campaign against the commercialization of the Anti-Retroviral Drug.

"I am HIV +ve, does that make me a lesser human being?" questioned Veenadhari as people pointed fingers at her when she boldly revealed her HIV status.

During her life time, she worked day-and-night offering emotional and psychological support to thousands of persons infected with HIV.

Crossing all boundaries of social secrecy and stigma, Veenadhari with the infrastructure and support from Valored, a social service organization, was responsible for forming numerous groups of medical practioners, advocates, social workers and journalists working for the rights of persons with HIV/AIDS.

A great loss to the society and to the HIV/AIDS awareness movement, Veenadhari’s death has shocked al those who have interacted and known her work.

Also read exclusive story on Veenadhari:

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