The Restless Gemini

Έν οίδα ότι ουδέν οίδα --- Hen oida hoti ouden oida

November 27, 2005

20 Airbus Crashes a Day

I happened to see a programme on TV today which was held in Hyderabad on Oct 22 to increase awareness about AIDS in India. Several actors from the South Indian film Industry had come together to participate in the song and dance show organised by the Heroes Project in order to spread awareness about AIDS in India. This project is being spearheaded by popular Hollywood Actor and Social Activist Richard Gere.

Richard Gere with Kamalhassan and Kalanidhi Maran

Speaking on the occasion, Richard Gere said that World over an astounding 8000 people die of AIDS. He equated the same to 20 Airbus crashes a day and all the passengers succumbing to the crash. Hard reality...which is difficult to digest.

Read more about it here...

"India is growing at an extraordinary pace — it will soon become one of the world's leading nations. There's no doubt about that," says Gere. "But a social problem like AIDS needs an enormous amount of work here. And the actors could be a catalyst to set it off."

Stating that they have divided their campaign into two sections for the North and South of India, Gere says, "I don't pretend to know all the answers. But I find that the South is very different — in the rhythms in which people talk to each other, the actors they admire, and the way they deify those actors." And then, there are the fan clubs, which do substantial social work. "You wouldn't find that in America... And there's much more social responsibility among the actors in the south."

Gere has been coming to India "for close to 30 years now, initially on a spiritual quest... I think there is something deep inside me that connects here." That's just one of the reasons he stays. The other is to engineer change. "I have seen the mistakes my country has made, and I want to find a way to keep India from making the same mistakes."


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