Avahan, India a foundation set up by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, on Thursday announced Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand as its HIV-AIDS ambassador in India. The officials said that Anand, in his new role, would raise awareness of the disease in the country.
The official release said that Anand's desire to raise the visibility of India's HIV disease is a welcomed step in reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with it. They explained that besides targeting the general public, Anand would focus on mobilising the much-needed engagement by business and industry and NRIs.
Anand, a native of Tamil Nadu also plans to engage himself on the ground activities there, which is also one of the states hit hardest by HIV. He said that it is important for all sectors of the society to join hands and work together to contain the disease. He stated that they hope to create a significant understanding and compassion through their campaign as they concentrate on removing the stigma attached to the disease and are able to bring a message of urgency and promise to the people of India.