Past Events 2011

17th November – 9th December 2011
World AIDS Day and Join the Fight Fortnight
World AIDS Day 2011 was commemorated with two weeks of awareness events leading up to December 1 in our annual Join the Fight Fortnight.  Wake Up Pune kicked off the events with fundraising and awareness at Shisha Café where they distributed surveys, condoms and leaflets and sold HIV Positive t-shirts.  This event always serves as a great way to interact with a lot of people and build relationships between local and international volunteers for the many events ahead.

Wake Up Pune was fortunate enough to be able to have a booth at the NH7 Weekender Music Festival in Pune, which coincided with Join the Fight Fortnight.  There volunteers performed a live installation and engage many people in learning about HIV; we also raised over 9000 rupees for Wake Up Pune and DISHA.  Another live installation was performed in two different sites in Ramtekedi with over 100 people witnessing.  Members of the DISHA team were on hand to hand out leaflets and answer questions about HIV, stigma and the services they provide.

For the first time ever, Wake Up Pune held a Flash Mob as part of the World AIDS Day activities.  Over thirty volunteers participated in a “Conga Flash Mob” down MG Road, singing, chanting and dancing their way down the street in HIV Positive t-shirts and attracting a lot of attention from passersby and shopkeepers.

In addition to the above activities, Wake Up Pune held various HIV Bootcamps during the two weeks of activities, including one with volunteers from Sangam and one at Infosys both of which generated great discussion among the participants.  An awareness event and poster competition were held at Mariplex Mall with over 150 people filling out questionnaires.  Leading up to World AIDS Day three beautiful rangolis were created in Tadiwala, Deccan Junction and at Swargate which generated a lot of interest and conversation on the streets.  A signature campaign was also held in four locations across Pune in which people were asked to sign banners and make a pledge not to discriminate.

The highlight of Join the Fight Fortnight is always the World AIDS Day Rally on 1 December where Wake Up Pune and DISHA joined over 400 others in a march from Shaniwar Wada to BJ Medical College Ground.  Participants were positive and enthusiastic, spreading awareness and showing their support for those living with HIV.

The events and activities culminated in the annual Celebration of Life event, held on Friday 9 December in Tadiwala.  The event featured a cultural program of music and dancing, a positive speaker, and prize distribution from the various competitions held over the past two weeks.  We also celebrated the 5 year anniversary of Wake Up Pune!  A sincere thank you goes out to all who participated and continue to show their support for Wake Up Pune.

10th November 2011
Fundraising and Awareness at Malaka Spice

6th November 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Tadiwala

4th November 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Aasra Foundation Rehabilitation Centre
Wake Up Pune volunteers conducted this bootcamp for 29 recovering addicts and alcoholics.  The residents had some interesting questions regarding prevention of HIV and the usage of condoms (aided by a condom demonstration) and the following discussion dispelled some common myths about the transmission of HIV.

20th October 2011
Light Up Pune
Wake Up Pune lit up Tadiwala Road for Diwali.  A team of Wake Up Pune volunteers and the DISHA team created a giant AIDS ribbon from candles to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.  Over a hundred people witnessed the making and lighting of the candle ribbon.  The DISHA team were on hand to answer question and spread the word about HIV transmission, prevention and stigma.  We had a moment of silence in remembrance of those who have passed away from AIDS.

14th October 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Green Tara Women’s Empowerment Project
20 young women participated in this HIV bootcamp at Green Tara Foundation’s Women Empowerment Project in Vishrantwadi.  The girls were very eager to learn about HIV and asked lots of questions about the biology of HIV as well as prevention and safe sex, including condom usage.

13th October 2011
Fundraising and Awareness at Shisha Café

12th October 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Santulan De-addiction Camp
This bootcamp was held for 11 men attending Santulan’s de-addiction camp.  There was a focus on the connection between HIV and drug/alcohol abuse and the double stigma faced by HIV positive addicts.  The attendees listened intently and participated eagerly in the interactive portions of the bootcamp.

9th October 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Tadiwala

24th September 2011
Steer-On Rally
In association with AIESEC Pune, Wake Up Pune and DISHA participated in this rally to raise awareness about HIV that began at Fergusson College.  Over 60 people showed up in support, carrying banners, shouting slogans and handing out condoms and leaflets to the public.

8th September 2011
Fundraising and Awareness at Shisha Café

28th August 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Tadiwala

8th August 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Santulan De-addiction Camp
This bootcamp was held for 15 men participating in the de-addiction camp.  Most of the attendees were very responsive to the bootcamp and participated in the interactive activities and asked questions.  Following the presentation, 11 of the men voluntarily got tested for HIV, which was provided free and confidential by DISHA.

7th August 2011
Melava+: A Matrimonial Event for People Living with HIV
DISHA and Wake Up Pune, along with Santulan, hosted Melava+, the second annual matrimonial event for people living with HIV.  Though PLHIV can live a full and healthy life with the help for ART medications, they often have trouble finding a life partner.  Based in a belief that all people have the right to get married if they choose, Melava+ provided a platform for PLHIV to find a life partner, community, love and happiness.  Four couples officially announced their marriage at the event which welcomed over 150 PLHIV, including over 50 women.  Candidates mostly came from Maharashtra, but some came traveled from as far as Gujurat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.  The travel costs for all female participants was sponsored.  The positive candidates were joined by a similar number of family members, all eager to help find prospective partners for their kin.

The day began with breakfast and a number of icebreakers and games.  Though different from the traditional matrimonial format, the games got people laughing and helped them really get to know each other better.  While the candidates played games, parents and family members spoke with a psychologist and watched several short films about HIV.  Now seven months pregnant, Ganga, an HIV-positive woman who got married as a result of last year’s Melava+, encouraged family members to live positively and to never give up hope.  Afterwards a lunch was served, catered by Santulan’s newly trained caterers, all ex-addicts who had recently finished a 15-day de-addiction program.

Melava+ welcomed people from varied backgrounds, unlike traditional matrimonial events.  For both the candidates who found partners and those who did not, the change to meet other PLHIV was an invaluable and life-changing experience.  In addition to this, the act of publicly announcing one’s HIV-positive status was very meaningful and for many, was the first time they had done so.  Wake Up Pune believes that stigma and discrimination form the most significant challenge in the fight against HIV in India.  Events such as Melava+ raise public awareness of HIV, as well as support PLHIV in living full and happy lives.

29th July 2011
Fundraising and Awareness at Malaka Spice

24th July 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Tadiwala

15th July 2011
Fundraising and Awareness at Shisha Café

10th July 2011
Awareness Program at Mariplex Mall
Local and international Wake Up Pune volunteers gathered at Mariplex Mall in Kalyani Nagar.  Tables were set up equipped with free condoms, AIDS ribbons, leaflets and questionnaires.  Over 400 questionnaires were completed by interested people in the mall and was one of the most successful activities of the day.  In addition to this, Wake Up Pune volunteers performed some disruptive theatre and the DISHA ladies performed a street play, to raise awareness about the damaging effects of HIV-related stigma and engage people in a dialogue about what they can do to reduce stigma.  Some games and activities were also played to correct common misconceptions about HIV.  The event was very successful and reached a lot of people.

29th June 2011
Film Screening: 68 Pages
Wake Up Pune held a screening of 68 Pages, an Indian film made in 2007 that follows the story of an HIV/AIDS counselor and her five counselees who are all from different marginalised communities in Mumbai.  The film explores the stigma and difficulties faced by the characters and provoked a thoughtful and interesting discussion following the film.

23rd June 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Santulan De-addiction Camp
Wake Up Pune volunteers ran this bootcamp for the 20 attendees of Santulan’s first 15 day de-addiction camp.  The bootcamp was very well received and afterwards five of the men decided to get tested on the spot for HIV which was provided by DISHA and the DGS lab technician.

17th and 22nd June 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Ibis Hotel
HIV bootcamps were held for the heads of departments, managers and supervisors of Ibis hotel which included about 30 people.

16th June 2011
Fundraising and Awareness at Shisha Café

12th June 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Tadiwala

3rd June 2011
Fundraising and Awareness at Prem’s Restaurant

29th May 2011
Live Installation on MG Road

26th May 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Aasra Foundation Rehabilitation Centre

15th – 22nd May 2011
Global AIDS Week
The Global AIDS Week of Action began with a signature campaign, two rallies and a candlelight vigil.  The vigil featured a testimony from a man living with HIV, a discussion of HIV hotline services and a candlelight ceremony during which the crowd recited a pledge to fight stigma and discrimination.  There were also musical performances and dances.
For the rest of the week, the DISHA team and Wake Up Pune volunteers canvassed local communities encouraging residents to get tested and on one day 30 people came to Tadiwala for testing.  Several live installations were held as well as a stigma tunnel in Kasurdi village.  A few fundraising and awareness events were held at various bars and restaurants in Pune, including a benefit concert at High Spirits, all of which raised almost Rs 45,000.

8th May 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Tadiwala

1st March 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Tadiwala

24th January 2011
Film Screening: Yesterday
Wake Up Pune hosted a film screening of this 2004 South African film.  The film tells the story of a young mother who discovers she has HIV and her husband, who gave her the virus, rejects her.  Attendees were moved by the touching story and continued to discuss the film in an online forum following the event.

21st January 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Extentia

19th January 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Mahindra World United College

8th January 2011
HIV Bootcamp at Tadiwala

3rd January 2011
Fundraising and Awareness at Shisha Cafe

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