“We must seriously think about HIV/AIDS. We must stop this issue by educating and creating a healthy atmosphere for the younger generation. We can do this through our creative work, through our poetry, through our drama, through our film. Given my decades of experience in the arts, I have no doubt that this TeachAIDS 2D animation will be extremely effective in educating our young people.” – Pranjal Saikia
Renowned Indian actor and peace ambassador, Pranjal Saikia, plays the voice of the male doctor in the Axomiya language version of the TeachAIDS animations. Saikia, active in the Assamese film industry since 1996, is one of the most influential actors, directors, and producers in Assam.
After completing his degree at the National School of Drama in Delhi, Saikia served as the Directorate of Cultural Affairs for the Assamese government. Since that time, he has starred in more than 30 films, 25 television shows, and 98 theatrical productions. He is widely recognized for his performances onstage and on the silver screen as well as for more than 70 audio plays on All India Radio (AIR). Moreover, Saikia has starred in Hindi films, such as Door Nehi Savera and Ting Khang, and the Bengali film Gajamukta. He was also an actor in the serial Yatra, an anchor on the science program Turning Point, and the director and producer of several telefilms. In 2008, Saikia won a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gurukul Sangeet Nritya Kala Kendra University.
Aside from his national endeavors, Saikia is passionate about promoting the creative arts in his home state of Assam. He works as an actor and director for the unique and popular mobile theater movement in Assam. Saikia also conducts theater workshops and supports cultural development throughout the state.
In addition to his success in the performing arts, Saikia is a dedicated advocate for various social issues. He has been selected as an ambassador for peace by the Universal Peace Federation, a global network of individuals and organizations that are dedicated to building a world of peace where everyone can live in freedom, harmony, cooperation, and prosperity. Currently, he is a member of the Assam State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights.
In addition to the support of our Indian cultural icons, which includes his honorable Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, the on-going development of the Axomiya animations have been supported by countless volunteers including those from the Assam Foundation of North America. These dedicated volunteers have been working tirelessly to help culturally tailor the educational materials.
In partnering with TeachAIDS, Saikia joins a team of other national cultural icons who have played the voice of the male doctor, including Nagarjuna in the Telugu version, Amol Palekar in the Marathi version, and Sudeep in the Kannada version. The male doctor is an important character who shares crucial information about how one can protect themselves from HIV and AIDS and speaks very personally to young people. This fits with Saikia’s philosophy, “My motto is that whatever we think, whatever we do, we must do for the coming generation.”
Saikia’s dedication to human rights and promotion of the arts make him an inspiration to many. We are thrilled to welcome him to the TeachAIDS team.
Photo: Left: Pranjal Saikia records his voice for the Axomiya version of the TeachAIDS animations at the Auditek Digital Recording Studio in Guwahati, Assam. Right: Animated character of Pranjal Saikia to use in the HIV education materials.