“I am proud to be associated with TeachAIDS, and I applaud their noble work in educating our young Indians. Let’s join hands to eradicate AIDS.” – Suriya
Suriya is one of the most celebrated actors in India and one of the most recognized names in Tamil cinema. Suriya has graciously donated his time for the role of the male doctor in the Tamil version of the TeachAIDS animations. He plays the voice of knowledge, reason, and integrity – sharing valuable insight with the male student, co-starring actor Siddharth, and answering questions about HIV and AIDS.
Having acted in 29 movies to date, Suriya is a versatile actor whose roles span numerous genres. Son of noted actor Sivakumar, he was named Saravanan Sivakumar but took the stage name Suriya when he entered the film industry. His debut performance was in the Tamil movie Nerrukku Ner in 1997. Since then, he has acted in several other very successful films, including Nandha, Kaakha Kaakha, Pithamagan, and Perazhagan earlier in his career, and Vaaranam Aayiram, Singam, 7aum Arivu, and Singam II more recently. On three separate occasions, Suriya has won both the Tamil Nadu State Film Award and the Filmfare Awards South. In 2013, he won the award for Best Actor in Tamil at the 60th Filmfare Awards.
Shortly after the production studio Studio Green was started by his cousin Gnanevel Raja in 2006, Suriya also became a film producer. He has produced several films starring his brother, Karthi, or himself. In 2009, Suriya starred in the highest grossing Tamil film of the year, the action-thriller Ayan. Impressively, Suriya completed a series of acrobatic stunts without using a stunt double in his portrayal of a smuggler. In 2010, he made his debut in Bollywood with the biopic Rakta Charitra, which was produced in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.
Along with his work as an actor, Suriya dedicates much of his time to philanthropy, with a particular passion for education. Started by his father, he now directs the work of the Sivakumar Educational Trust, which provides financial assistance to the underserved in Tamil Nadu to achieve their educational goals. In 2008, Suriya started the Agaram Foundation, a philanthropic organization that funds efforts to help children who drop out of school. The vision of the organization is "to bring about a significant positive change in the socio-economic status of the rural society by offering quality education to the deserving individual." In 2010, Agaram sponsored over 150 underprivileged students who could not otherwise go to school. Suriya is also an active member of REACH, a nonprofit that works tirelessly to cure patients with tuberculosis using free medication programs.
TeachAIDS is pleased to have the support of Suriya for the Tamil language version of the TeachAIDS animations. He joins other prominent figures including Nagarjuna (Telugu version) and Sudeep (Kannada version) as the voice of the male doctor providing critical HIV education to the people of India.
Photo: Scene from the new Tamil TeachAIDS animations under development, featuring the voice and animated likeness of renowned South Indian actor Suriya.