Human Rights of PLHIV being shelved again in India.

September 3, 2013

India’s HIV/AIDS Bill continues to be stalled, despite mounting pressure from public interest organizations to pass the six year pending HIV/AIDS Bill before the forthcoming August 5th Parliament session. Public interest organizations have voiced concern over the delay and have taken to the streets to demand the tabling of the bill.

Drafted by The Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit, ‘the Bill embodies principles of human rights and seeks to establish a humane and egalitarian legal regime to support India’s regime to support India’s prevention, treatment, care and support efforts vis-à-vis the epidemic’.

The Bill protects wide range of issues related to People Living with HIV (PLHIV), by addressing issues of stigma and discrimination, care and protection, treatment and ensuring their rights.

It specifically prohibits discrimination related to HIV/AIDS in both public and private spheres, requires specific and informed consent related to HIV testing, treatment and research, and upholds the right to confidentiality. Right to access comprehensive HIV related treatment prevention, care and support is included as are protection of risk reduction strategies targeted towards communities subject to criminal sanction, such as drug users and sex workers.



The HIV/AIDS Bill is a comprehensive document protecting and promoting the rights of PLHIV and those affected by HIV. It is only by protecting the vulnerable that we will begin to reverse the HIV epidemic. By upholding the right against discrimination, right to informed consent, and confidentiality and access to treatment, more people will be encouraged to come forward for testing, care and treatment. By protecting risk reduction strategies, and by disseminating important information we can help those who are marginalized to protect themselves and others against HIV.

The passing of the HIV/AIDS Bill will have wide ranging effects and will for the first time, offer legal protection for PLHIV and those affected by HIV in India. It has been thirty years since HIV was first discovered. Its high time for laws and policies to reflect and respond to these realities and uphold and protect the rights of all.

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What we can learn from the Facebook India boom

July 27, 2011

Yes, Facebook has grown to be very popular in India. So popular that it might even very well surpass Indonesia as the second largest user nation of the said social networking website in the very near future. Is that surprising? Is that interesting? Did that pique your curiosity? Whatever the case may be, we only know one thing for sure: that we have some points to learn from this Facebook India boom.

First thing that we can surmise from this surge is that more and more brands (both online and offline) employ Facebook not only as a way to enhance their products or services or their brands themselves but as a way to engage with customers. This holds true for both MTV Splitvilla and Meri Maggi, which are among the top 3 Indian brand pages on Facebook. What does this mean? It means that Indian customers want and like brands that are online, “easy to access,” which have efficient and quick customer relations personnel behind the Facebook page. It also means that Indians are more likely to avail of products and services that offer a user-friendly platform for engagement. A platform that’s familiar to them and of course, a platform where they know they have friends, relatives, business partners, acquaintances in.

Another thing that we can learn from this Facebook India boom is that this signals that people do not just use the social networking website to contact “real” or “existing” businesses or brands. People also use Facebook to signify their “liking” towards anything that’s related to their culture, tradition and religion. In the case of Facebook usage in India, the top “brand” for the month of June is, quite interestingly, the well loved and widely recognized god Lord Ganesha. Now Lord Ganesha may not be “real” (i.e. can’t be seen or touched) but Indians show that cultural beliefs also play a strong role in their usage of Facebook and other social networking websites.

So…are you ready to join the bandwagon and get your share of the pie that is Facebook India?

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Planet Yoga:《 Real Yogis: Meet Kapil the director of Yoga at Planet Yoga 》

December 30, 2009

Kapil is an accomplished Yoga Master and Director of Yoga at Planet Yoga.  He shares a few thoughts on his life, his passions and his yoga. Kapil comes from a very spiritual background. He was born and raised in Calcutta India before finding his way to Hong Kong.

RY: I understand yoga is very much part of your life. Can you tell us about that?

Kapil: “I was always interested in meditation and spirituality growing up. I always felt that I needed a different pace and lifestyle. I had read about the Bihar School of Yoga in a paper and got interested. The programme required students to stay in a monastery for two years. My mother was scared because she thought I was going to become a monk.” During Kapil’s stay there he received a gold medal of excellence and eventually left to teach yoga.

RY: There must have been some powerful spiritual influences in your life if your mother thought you were goito spend the rest of your life in a monastery. What were they?

Kapil: “Jiddu Krishnamurti and Osho. I don’t think I would have gotten interested into spirituality and yoga without their work.”

RY: Planet Yoga is launching permanent series of Master Classes. This is something new to Hong Kong I think. Can you explain it to us?

Kapil: “Our Yoga masters have put together a range of Master classes to launch in 2010. These classes are theme-based. One of the classes I’m very excited about is the Heart-Opening Hatha. When you practice yoga, it opens up different energies inside of you. This class is aimed at releasing feelings of compassion and love. All the Master Classes are designed fine tune skills and poses that you have learnt previously. Some of these classes will require students to have advanced skills in yoga.”

RY:Planet Yoga prides itself on having real yoga masters and teaching real yoga. What is your definition of “Real Yoga”?

Kapil: “Real yoga is living in the moment and learning the lessons that moment has to teach you. Real yoga is not something you only experience in a classroom. Our yoga masters teach how to experience the joy of yoga with every breath you take throughout your day.

RY: Any word of encouragement for people wanting to try yoga?

Kapil: “Live in the moment. Start your yogic journey today. Whatever you are looking for in life yoga will help you find it. Love, happiness, confidence, peace, health… no matter what it is, yoga will help you find it”

Real Yoga,