As students of Mahindra United World College of India, a school that brings together young people from over 80 countries to work towards peace and a sustainable future, we have been affiliated with “Wake up Pune”, a coalition of NGOs who combine their abilities to provide awareness for, and fight HIV/AIDS, in the villages around our campus and in Pune itself. In the past we have been involved in music concerts and lectures, but we felt that we could do something to help on a larger scale.
Rather than organizing an HIV/AIDS walk or run, we wanted to do something that is less common, more striking, and that will continue to bring awareness to the cause long after the actual event. This project, we decided, would be head shaving. 20 girls from Mahindra United World College of India will be sacrificing their hair to raise awareness and funds for the needs of HIV/AIDS patients in Pune.
We are raising money for the Deep Griha HIV/AIDS clinic. This organization works in Pune, a large city in Maharasthra, India, where an estimated 1.8% of the population is infected with HIV/AIDS. The medical care that they provide for HIV/AIDS patients, and the support that they give, are essential for many HIV+ people in Pune who do not have the ability to pay for treatments. Of the money that we raise, about $30 a day will cover general medication expenses for HIV related infections for the HIV+ people in two of the larger slums in Pune. This medication helps patients maintain their immune systems and reduce the risk of the virus developing into AIDS.
For the next few months, each time someone asks one of the 20 international girls (from 16 different countries) why they shaved their head, our response will continue to raise awareness and support Deep Griha. Donors will be able to sign onto this website and donate directly to the DISHA clinic and provide care for HIV/AIDS patients.
In addition, to see that the hair does not go to waste, we will send the sacrificed hair to “Locks of Love”, an organization that provides wigs for children with hair loss diseases.
Thank you for your time and donations, Teddy Swenson and Angelika Adensamer.