Let's talk about HIV
Prayas, a charitable trust working with HIV affected adults and children is out with a music video called So What that lends support to adolescents who grew up with the virus and their issues
Pune-based Prayas has been associated with helping out HIV+ children, adolescents and adults. The adolescents from the project have formed a support group called So What and have come out with a song by the same name in Marathi. It has now been made into a Hindi music video about their emotions and positive spirit deal with issues.
Dr Vinay Kulkarni and Dr Sanjeevani Kulkarni are the powerhouse behind Prayas. Dr Sanjeevani reveals, “Prayas was established in 1994. The health group works on issues of sexuality and HIV. Various activities are providing comprehensive care to people living with HIV at affordable costs (counselling, medical consultations, anti-retroviral treatment and laboratory services) and community-based intervention programmes (prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV) and more.
Behind-the-scenes stills of the making of the video, So What
The So What group came up as a response from the young people living with HIV. About four to five years ago, when the first generation of kids born with HIV became adolescents we observed a lot of changes. These children were not ready to talk to us about the situation. We thought that the best way to understand what is going on in their minds will by providing them with the space to discuss this with us and others who are in a similar situation. So, we conducted a residential workshop. ‘So What’ reflects their changed outlook.”
In one of the workshops, the children were given this idea of creating their own song for the group. They came up with a Marathi version with inputs from Dr Mohan Deshpande. The song became quite famous among them. “When we started working with the Keep a Child Alive group, the idea of making it into a music video came up and we decided to make it in Hindi for wider dissemination,” says Dr Sanjeevani. Maitreyee Kulkarni was the the training coordinator at Prayas added inputs to the video too.
Pune-based filmmaker Anupam Barve had connected with Prayas and it features actors (most of whom are acquaintances) chosen after auditions for the parts.
“We did get the ‘So What’ kids to hear the song. They first felt this song was different from their original song. It is more studio mixed and had been sung by singers. We had told them about the script and they liked the whole concept,”
Dr Vinay is of the opinion that the video and song in itself are unlike other videos because world over, there are millions of children infected with HIV and are going to be adolescents and deal with the same issues Barve explains about the video’s script being approached at different levels, “It took us almost two to three months to get to the draft. We met four-five times in about five weeks. Post our group discussions, I deciphered the song because this was also my first-time at doing a music video.” The video also has English subtitles.
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