Mahindra & Mahindra drives HIV education in rural communities across India
TeachAids HIV education materials are being used across sectors and around the world to educate people of diverse backgrounds about HIV and AIDS. Beyond schools, orphanages, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, businesses and corporations are integrating the TeachAIDS animations into their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.
One such corporation is Mahindra & Mahindra, a multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Mumbai. As part of its commitment to social responsibility, the corporation is engaged in projects related to education, healthcare access and rural technology, and has chosen to target HIV and AIDS with its outreach.
Mahindra identified a lack of awareness about HIV and AIDS as a major problem in many of the rural communities in which the Automotive and Farm Sector of the Group has manufacturing plants. Mr. Anirban Ghosh, Vice President –Sustainability, CSR and Ethics, notes that “when considering how to best serve the health needs of the communities we work with, we realized that rates of HIV were alarmingly high in many areas and awareness of how to prevent this condition remained limited. It was clear that integrating HIV education into our CSR programs would yield important, meaningful results”. In an effort to combat this issue, Mahindra generously invested $300,000 to support the development of additional TeachAids animations for the Indian context, and began to integrate TeachAids into their CSR initiatives.
In commemoration of World AIDS Day the corporation has conducted awareness sessions about HIV for citizens across several Indian states since 2014. Designed to “inculcate knowledge and awareness about HIV and AIDS and enable the community to lead a healthy and dignified life”, each session features a screening of TeachAids animations in the language most appropriate for the population and is targeted towards siteworkers, students, adolescents and/or migrant workers. In a number of locations around the country, the TeachAids materials were also used to spread AIDS awareness to truck drivers, a well-known high risk group in India.
In addition to interacting with the TeachAids animations, participants of the education program had the opportunity to attend talks with physicians and healthcare experts and received informative printed materials. In each location, the awareness program took on a local flavor to ensure that the educational efforts were highly targeted to the local population. For example, in Maharashtra an awareness rally accompanied the screening of the TeachAids materials; while in Gujarat, each person on the Mahindra campus was provided with an AIDS symbol to wear and asked to take an oath to protect themselves and their loved ones from HIV.
These efforts brought TeachAids HIV education materials to thousands of Mahindra employees, truck drivers, students, and villagers. Mr. Ghosh believes that, “the impactful communication tools developed by TeachAids helped to provide highly effective HIV education and raise knowledge levels around this devastating condition. We are proud of these efforts and plan to replicate them at scale for many years to come”.
TeachAids is delighted to welcome Mahindra to an ever-growing list of corporations that use our materials as part of their corporate social responsibility. Contributing to the health and well-being of the communities in which we live and work is the responsibility of every individual and organization, and we applaud Mahindra’s dedication to providing this critical education to the communities in which they work.