Priest advocates use of yoga to combat HIV-AIDS

PANAJI: Fr Joseph Pereira, the first Christian priest to be awarded
the Padma Shri for social work this year, has said that in India
where anti-retroviral treatment is beyond the reach of most people, yoga
can delay the onset of full-blown AIDS by five to ten years,
depending on the age of the person.

Popularly known as Fr Joe, the 67-year-old founder of Kripa
foundation has done pioneering work in the field of yoga for alcohol
de-addiction and HIV-AIDS in India and abroad for the last 27 years.

Times of India

A native of Vasai, the priest attended the anniversary celebrations
of Kripa Rehabilitation Centre at Anjuna on February 15 and is
presently teaching yoga to a group of Britishers. He is a certified
instructor in the B K S Iyengar school of yoga.

Fr Joe has established several Kripa centres in Goa, including the
Kripa counselling centre at Mapusa and the Kripa rehabilitation
centre at Anjuna. “I teach yoga for alcohol addiction recovery and
for HIV-AIDS. Yoga is a very powerful means for strengthening the
immune system of a person,” Fr Joe said.

Kripa also runs a employee assistance programme to optimise employee
performance at the Goa Shipyard Limited, Vasco. Kripa has 48
facilities in 11 states in India and six collaborative centres in
Zurich-Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Canada, USA and Sao Paolo-

Reminiscing, Fr Joe said it was in 1981 that he first treated three
patients from Mother Theresa’s Home in Mumbai for addiction, and all
three got cured. Mother Theresa was so happy that she called him to
Kolkatta and offered him her male orphanage to open his second and
one of the largest rehabilitation centres in Kolkatta.

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