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Urmila lend a hand toward AIDS awareness

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Courtesy: IndiaFM
Monday, September 04, 2006
Urmila is out to do her bit to promote AIDS awareness. This week she travels to Pune and then to Delhi with the BBC crew to interact with the public on HIV-related matters through a debate.

Says Urmila, "I'm aware that other stars have been part of BBC's Haath Se Haath Milaa campaign for AIDS but I wanted to do something different. Because of the Ganesh festival I asked by the BBC to tie up with one of the celebration organizers to conduct an open-air free-for-all AIDS debate. A local lawyer and AIDS activist Asim Sarode will be participating with me. Because I'm a Maharashtrian and a film star I'll be able to connect with the Pune audiences very well. I'll speak to them with Marathi."

The event will be recorded by BBC for telecast. Says Urmila, "I think an issue like AIDS needs to be addressed hands-on. I suggested that they film the entire process of my visiting Pune and the ensuing interaction. What's the point of roping in a known face if that face doesn't promote the cause to the hilt?"

Urmila wants the Pune event to be one of the largest debates on AIDS in the city. "They gave me choice of city. I can go anywhere, even in the South to Tamil Nadu or Kerala where I've done films. For now I chose Pune because I'm Marathi and with the Ganesh Chaturthi, people will turn out in full force." She also adds "I think it's time more and more of us created awareness about issues that go beyond cinema. Shabanaji has been doing it for years. But most of us are too busy with our day to day work to bother with larger issues. That has to change. If you're a celebrity you better use the power to make a difference."

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