India’s most celebrated cultural icons join TeachAids
For World AIDS Day, we announced the development of 8 new versions of the TeachAids software, which would not be possible without the countless number of individuals working behind-the-scenes to donate their time and talent toward creating the highest-quality education materials and making them available for free.
Two of our talented and multilingual celebrities, Anushka Shetty and Shruti Haasan, returned to record their voices for new language versions, while fifteen additional celebrities joined the team to donate their voices and likenesses across 6 languages. All celebrities graciously recorded their voices between their intense filming and performing schedules. Their generosity to support our efforts was humbling.
Examples included Sudeep, who started recording his voice in Bangalore and ended his recording in Hyderabad; Shruti Haasan, who performed at the Filmfare Awards South, recorded for her album the next morning, and then came in to record her voice late at night with us; Siddharth, who finished shooting in Madurai and drove hours to Chennai, having not slept all night, just to record with us and head out for another shoot immediately after; Prashanta Nanda, arguably Odisha’s most famous male actor/writer/director and politician came in on a weekend night to be with us and record his bit; Malaya Goswami, who found time between her active teaching schedule and flying across the country to sit on a panel of judges, representing Assam, for film productions; Aruna Mohanty, the world famous Odissi dancer, booked her other engagements (she is traveling the world with her dance troupe) around our session; Savitha Reddy, one of our dubbing artists, who was a few days away from delivering her baby when she graciously recorded her voice; Suriya, who had been unwell for several days and still managed to come into the studio with an amazing attitude to record for us; and Imran Khan, who kept his schedule flexible as we waited while audio studios were on strike across Mumbai.
Additionally, dozens of top producers, directors, animators, writers, press agents, artists, and sound engineers donated their time between other work to bring life to these productions. This included talented writers and directors such as Bibi Barbarooah, T.S. Nagabharana, Krishna Kumar, A.L. Vijay, S. Ramakrishnan, Bharath Kumar, and Adarsh NC. Our friends at VenSat, an animation company out of Hyderabad and Chennai, subsidized the animation costs to bring high quality materials to the people of India.
Emceeing our media launch events were talented personalities such as Lavanya Ballal, the popular Radio Jockey from Radio Mirchi; Diksha Tiwari, who has anchored televisions shows such as Literary Festival and OTV Prerana; and Mahalakshmi, who, despite many requests to comment on television, spoke to the cameras for the first time on behalf of TeachAIDS. Director of Eclectic NorthEast Gaurav Gogoi, Producer Suresh Balaje, Creative Director of tan90 Siva Nathan, Ratikant Satpathy of Ortel Communications, Sanjeev Nayak of Silicon Institute of Technology, PR agent Nikhil Murugan, and countless others, brought talent and press together to raise awareness about TeachAIDS to the public. Thanks to Priya Paul, who donated her The Park Hotels, and M. Chakraborty, who donated the auditorium at IIT Bhubaneswar for our media launch events.
A special thanks to our dear friends Nagarjuna and Amala Akkineni, who housed the TeachAIDS staff at their beautiful home in Hyderabad for more than a month to minimize production costs further.
Aside from paid staff who have been working around the clock, more than a million dollars worth of person hours were donated this year by hundreds of researchers, language experts, production staff, programmers, animators, artists, among others, to develop these materials for those who need them most.