Partygoers ignore rock event for AIDS

Dewan Rai


Nepal’s most popular rock bands, Robin And The New Revolution, Mukti And Revival, 1974 AD, Exit and The McTwister together performed at Yalamaya Kendra, Patandhoka on January 29 to raise funds for Prerana, an organisation for people living with HIV. Prerana, the first organisation to work towards supporting ‘HIV positive individuals’, is facing a severe financial crunch.

“Since its establishment in 1997, it has been facing a financial crisis,” Prerana patron Sharan Chhetri said, adding, “But I have got little support from other organisations.” Robin, lead singer of band Robin and The New Revolution initiated this programme. He is on the board of Prerana. Robin has previously organised one charity concert.

Surprisingly enough for a concert by Kathmanduites’ favourite bands, the turnout was rather poor. “We had expected a 300-strong audience,” said Subel Bhandari, coordinator of ‘Music For Humanity’, a charity music event of Wave magazine as a part of WAVEvents. Half of the audience present at the show were foreign nationals.

According to Chhetri, everyday 31 persons are estimated to be infected by HIV in Nepal. The number is estimated to rise from 60,000 to 1,80,000 by the end of this year. “This is the hard fact,” said Robin when he began his performance. “It is not only about music but it is also about the next generation and how they have been living. We have to look at them as well.” The proceeds of the programme will be handed to Prerana.

The Nepalis government has not yet utilised Global Fund (GF). “The unused fund will return to its donors,” said Chhetri, a member of Country Coordinator Mechanism (CCM) of GF. The irony is that his own organisation has not been able to pay its house rent and telephone bill.