All of 21, Trupti Ishwar Gilada has already attended a handful of AIDS conferences across the world, the first one being in 1998 at the 12th International AIDS Conference, Geneva.
“My parents have been associated with Peoples Health Organisation that works for AIDS awareness, for a long time. So discussions about AIDS was quite a common phenomenon,” says Trupti who is currently studying at TN Medical College, Mumbai.
“I was eight-years-old when the magnanimity of the AIDS issue became clearer. Though I did not know much about it then, I well understood the dreadful way in which it was spreading,” she says adding that she presented a paper on the issue of AIDS at Geneva.
Being the youngest delegate there, she bagged the ‘Youngest Presenter Award’. “When people saw a young child talking at a global platform about AIDS, perhaps it struck a chord with them,” she says.
This was just the beginning for this enigmatic girl. The very next year she was present at the International Conference on AIDS in India (1999) where she gave the inaugural speech.
But there is a lot more to Trupti than just attending AIDS conferences. She has also been active in street plays done for the purpose of AIDS awareness. “Having spoken to a lot of people on the issue, it can be said that awareness about AIDS has made an impact on people, but only the urban population. For most of the others, it still is a topic characterised by sex and hence a taboo,” she says.
Recently present at the International Conference on AIDS in Toronto, Trupti was also part of MTV 48 fest-International Movie Contest to make movies around HIV/AIDS. “We were divided into groups of six to make a movie in 48 hours. We had to do everything from scripting, writing to directing in such a limited time,” she said.
But with so much of experience to her credit, her team emerged victorious with Fear and Loathing.
The 3-minute documentary revolves around an AIDS patient and the trauma she goes through in society, a reality India is trying to fight today.