Wednesday, December 16, 2009

AIDS awareness at CAVA through paintings & poems

"Majority of youth are afflicted with AIDS. They should be aware of the consequences of this deadly disease," says Dr. H.T. Chidananda.
Here is a 62-year-old social worker Dr. H.T. Chidananda, who is not just a doctor by profession but also a Professor who has successfully used the medium of painting to create awareness among people and provide information about HIV/AIDS.
Though he is not an artist by profession, he was very passio-nate about learning it. He initially began by drawing sketches. Later it occurred to him that this could be used as an effective medium to educate the public about various diseases that afflict mankind. So he started painting, focusing the theme of his paintings on diseases.
Dr. Chidananda, who had earlier served as Principal of Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) and Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS), is currently working as a Professor and HoD of Pathology at KMCT Medical College in Kozhikode (Calicut). He has over 50 paintings to his credit since 2 years and majority of them are related to diseases.
At present, he is holding an exhibition of his paintings at Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA), Mysore, under the auspices of Karnataka Lalitha Kala Academy. The expo will be open for public between 10 am and 6 pm till Dec. 9.
Of the 25 paintings on display, ten are explained through poems and others through captions, explaining the symptoms, causes and consequences of the disease, all in Kannada.

The posters depict the way the dreaded diseases spread and affect people including drug addicts using the same syringe for injection; awareness on blood transfusion; saving human lives by using condoms and indulging in safe sex; a painting depicting a HIV patient walking from light to darkness; Gonorrhea; continuing the cycle of life, the role people must play to ensure an AIDS-free society in future; a tree without leaves depicting that the person with HIV loses all characteristics of life; one man - one woman concept and pregnant mother with HIV and so on.
“The main objective of this exhibition is to create awareness amongst youth as they are more vulnerable to this disease and they should be educated in this regard. They should be made aware of the consequences of the disease. A cure for this disease has not yet been found. It is only through exhibitions such as this the public can be made aware about the disease”, says Dr. Chidananda.
“Paintings refresh my mind and help me to relax. I love creating art works that supplement the subject theme. Though in the beginning I was painting without any specific topic, during my days as a medical student, I started practising on my own the paintings related to diseases and was successful in my pursuit. Today, I paint regularly for about four hours everyday. After my retirement, I decided to create a collection of paintings all related to diseases and it has taken me two years to complete these paintings," says the doctor.
"Most people who are infec-ted with HIV do not know that they have been infected because no symptoms develop immediately after the initial in-fection. A HIV-infected person is highly infectious and can transmit the virus to another person. The only way to determine whether a person is infected or not is by undergoing a HIV test. This type of awareness camp helps the person to know on his own, whether he is infected or not," adds Dr. Chidananda.

"I feel I have succeeded in my efforts and I feel happy for exhibiting my art works here as it reaches the public. It is a very new experience for me. In future too, I will continue to create awareness by holding exhibitions of my paintings all over Karnataka, especially in the remote villages," says a beaming Chidananda, who is all set to release his book 'ROCHIKA' (ROga CHItra KAvya) next month.
He also has plans for providing guidance, information, counseling and screening facilities to people who are interested to know about AIDS. They can contact him on his Mob: 98869-53876.
The paintings which are on display here are not only informa-tive but also educate the public by telling: 'The threat from HIV virus is very dangerous.'

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