By YKA Staff:
Editor’s note: The greatest challenge when battling any disease is the fear and lack of understanding around it. Coupled with the stigma – from AIDS to TB – these side effects can derail the journey to healing. To help kickstart positive conversations around health and healing, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) India, in collaboration with YKA presents “Uncharted Voices”, a platform for discussion on some of the most pressing medical issues of our times. The first edition of the series focuses on the stigma around dieases ranging from AIDS to TB. At the event to be held on August 6, 2016 in Delhi, four amazing women who understand the symptoms first-hand, will share their experiences, ideas and learnings.
Meet the speakers!
TB Activist & TB Survivor
At the tender age of 16, Deepti was affected by TB, and was given six months to live. Instead she went on to fight it for almost six years, and lived to tell the tale. As her health deteriorated, she was forced to drop out of engineering college. A survivor of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), Deepti now actively works towards creating awareness about TB prevention so that others do not suffer the way she did. She regularly counsels people with TB and speaks about her experiences on radio, print and TV to inspire others to keep fighting.
Artist and Human Rights Activist
Reshma Valliappan aka Val Resh is an artist activist working in the area of mental health, sexuality and human rights, using creativity under her initiative The Red Door. An Ashoka Fellow, Ink Fellow and CAMH Fellow, she’s also the protagonist of PSBT documentary ‘A Drop of Sunshine’ and is the author of “Fallen, Standing; My Life As A Schizophrenist” – a first of its kind memoir on her life before diagnosis. She currently teaches empathy modules in a changemaker school, aiming to turn bullies into healers and to change the way education is taught to those considered ‘restless’.
In 2005, Jyothi was diagnosed as HIV Positive, due to medical negligence and has been an activist since 2011. This determined women to break down the walls of stigma, fear and prejudices around HIV and AIDS, by sharing her own experiences of living with this mere ‘virus’. Today, Jyoti is the global ambassador for Beydaar, an HIV awareness project by youth-run voluntary organisation in Pakistan, that aims to create awareness and civic sense in society. She’s also a community advisor, writer and blogger at The Well Project through which she helps people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) gain deeper insights in the fight against HIV/AIDS. A recipient of the Karma Veer Chakra from REX iCONGO in association with the United Nations, Jyoti’s mantra is this,”Life is full of struggles and challenges with lot of surprises thrown in. Thus learn to live, no matter how challenging the situation may be!”
Nurse Supervisor, MSF India
Roma has worked in the healthcare sector in various capacities for over 25 years. Since 2009, she has been working with MSF in Mumbai, with people affected by both HIV and MDR-TB. As a Nurse Supervisor, she is engaged in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of outreach nursing and medical activities. However, more interestingly, she works closely with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders, in the fight against TB.
To listen to these amazing stories of grit and survival, register here. Come learn, engage, and grow your knowledge!