Nepal’s voice heard

KATHMANDU: Here is something that would make all Nepalis proud.

A USAID-funded HIV prevention film ABC or Abstinence, Being Faithful and Consistent Condom usage has won the prestigious 2005 Global Media Award for Excellence in Population reporting.

Mann ko Awaaz was produced by a team of public, private, UN and NGO sector partners here, and was designed jointly by the Nepal World AIDS Day steering committee headed by the National Centre for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC) and funded by USAID.

The prize given by The Population Institute in Washington, DC, was given to this film in the category of Best Television Documentary based on its contribution to creating population issues in a meritorious manner. According to director of NCASC, Dr Shyam Sundar Mishra, this award is a win for all of Nepal and represents successful partnership and collaboration

in the coordinated fight against HIV between development partners from all sectors of society.

Mann ko Awaaz is an innovative and entertaining production tailored to meet the needs of marginalised women. The story outlines the adventures of two young women who migrate to Kathmandu from their impoverished village, lured by dreams of a better life in the city. The drama unfolds as both women end up working in one of the Capital’s numerous cabin and dance restaurants. The girls make different choices and the film based on a thousand true stories is both poignant and relevant to vulnerable women.

It not only raises the issues faced by such women but also offers real solutions that can enable them to lead healthier lives. And the film is used by PSI’s Interpersonal Behaviour Change Communicators as a tool for behaviour change communication activities in high-risk areas.