The India Post, Gujrat, 30th December, 2008 :On the last Sunday of December (28th), almost 200 HIV Positive People searched for their soulmate in an event organized by the Gujarat State Network of People Living with HIV&AIDS (GSNP+) with the cooperation of the Marriage Bureau. At the end of the day 5 couples found each other and will be getting married in the near future.
The Pasandagi Mela ran through the whole Sunday at the Reliance Community Care Centre in Hazira and was funding supported by GSACS. A total of 45 women and 153 men from all over Gujarat participated in the event that started off with a morning prayer and blessing speeches by the chief guests Dr. Mewara, Reliance Chief Medical Officer and Mr. Nanubhai Vanani,(MLA- Government of Gujarat). Afterwards each registered participant came to the stage, where a brief resume of their data was read out. The soulmate selection process occurred during lunch time, with the help of GSNP+’s mediators.
According to Mrs Daxa Patel, president of GSNP+, these type of initiatives fulfil several goals: the socialization of HIV positive people and the search for their life partner helps them to fight loneliness and depression; it also helps to mainstream HIV positive people into society; and the session delivered by Mr. Laxman, vice-president of GSNP+, on positive prevention and positive living at the end of the day, provided the audience with valuable information for a long and healthy life as a positive person. The Mela also provided a platform for women to choose their life partner, working as an empowering mechanism. Out of the female participants, 4 were widows and all of them found a soulmate.
This program was supported by Gujarat State AIDS Control Society.