Rickshaw Riding for HIV Awareness

Karen and Tim with Deep Griha's Rickshaw

On the 11th of April 2009, two Wake Up Pune volunteers will be undertaking a weird, wonderful, and wacky 2-week rally across India in an auto rickshaw to raise money for charity and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS!

Karen McCready (USA) and Tim Lloyd (UK) will be driving a rickshaw from Shillong in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, through Darjeeling, Bihar, Jharkhand, down the eastern coast of Orissa, across Andra Pradesh to Hyderabad, and through Karnataka to Goa as part of the Adventurists’ Rickshaw Run.   They will be undertaking this adventure to raise money for two wonderful organizations doing community-based public health work in India – Frank Water Projects and Deep Griha Society.

To learn more about their project visit Karen and Tim’s Website and show your support by joining their Facebook Group or making a donation.

Frank Water funds sustainable, community-run clean water projects and works to raise awareness around the issues of clean water and public health globally. Frank Water is currently funding 15 clean water projects using 5-filter ultra-violet technology in Andra Pradesh, India. The availability of safe, clean water is critical for promoting improved standards of community health generally, and is essential in maintaining the health and well-being of anyone living with HIV in these communities.

Deep Griha Society is a grassroots NGO that works within the slum communities of Pune, India, providing HIV education and awareness, as well as medical, social and nutritional support for persons living with HIV, among other community-based services.   Karen has spent the last 8 months volunteering for Deep Griha’s Integrated Services for HIV/AIDS (DISHA) program, so the people and programs that will be impacted by these funds are very near and dear to her heart.

But raising money is just the start!!   The main goal in undertaking this adventure is to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, promote HIV education and combat stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people in India.

In partnership with Wake Up Pune, Karen and Tim will be designing an “HIV-positive” rickshaw – meaning a rickshaw covered in information in Hindi about how HIV is and is not transmitted, how to protect oneself from being infected, and messages about promoting love and support for those living with HIV. They will also be handing out educational materials in Hindi along the route to raise awareness in the communities they visit.

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