Manipur bodybuilder’s inspirational fight overcoming HIV documented in new book
‘I am HIV positive, so what?’ is an account of Manipur-based Mr. World bronze medal-winning bodybuilder, Pradipkumar Singh, and his struggle overcoming HIV AIDSUpdated: Aug 19, 2017 18:42 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A new book documenting the career of Manipur’s highly-acclaimed bodybuilder, K Pradipkumar Singh, known for his personal struggle against HIV AIDS, was released at the Press Club of India in New Delhi on Friday.
Pradipkumar, who was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2000, had come out publicly about his condition in 2007, soon after winning the Mr. Manipur title.
A drug addict during his younger years, he contracted the virus from a shared syringe.
Despite the early upheavals, Pradipkumar bounced back, using bodybuilding a a medium to reform and turn around his life.
He notably went on to win the Mr. South Asia title in 2012, before bagging a bronze in the Mr. World contest the same year.
Over the years, he has actively campaiged towards awareness of HIV AIDS.
He served as brand ambassador of the Manipur State AIDS Control Society, before being roped in by the India chapter of a global non-profit to lead a pan-India HIV awareness campaign from Delhi.
Written by New Delhi-based journalist Jayanta Kalita, ‘I am HIV positive, so what?’ is an account of Pradipkumar’s struggle with his condition and his triumphs over the years.
It also touches on the culture of sports in Manipur, and how the same has continued to grow over the years, despite a number of issues plaguing the state.
Speaking at the launch of the book, Kalita said, “Pradipkumar’s mission was to break the stereotype that an HIV person cannot be a part of society. Even after making his HIV status public, he remained undaunted in the face of all odds.”
Pradipkumar’s uphill battle against his condition, and the stigma surrounding it, had earlier been made into documentary, titled ‘Mr. India’.
First Published: Aug 19, 2017 15:10 IST