Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rahman to perform for HIV+ kids

Rahman to perform for HIV+ kids

Thiruvananthapuram, April 15 (IANS) Malayalam superstar Suresh Gopi has a new mission in his life - a school for HIV positive children. And joining him is double Oscar winner A R Rahman who will stage a musical night in Kerala for free.

'Jai Ho' musical night is scheduled for May 3 at the Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode. Rahman and his 103-artiste group will perform in front of an expected 50,000 strong crowd. The proceeds of the night will go towards the building of the school.

"We expect to raise Rs.15 crore (Rs.150 million) from the sale of tickets and sponsorships. After meeting the expenses, we target a figure of Rs.10 crore (Rs.100 million), which would be the first capital for the school," Gopi told IANS Tuesday on the sidelines of a function held for the sale of tickets.

The programme is being held under the initiative of Global Kerala Initiative-Keraleeyam, an NGO of which Gopi is a patron.

"The ideal location for the school should be somewhere in the central districts of the state. It will cater not only to the HIV positive children from Kerala but also from neighbouring states. If everything goes as planned, the school should be ready in two years time," Gopi said.

Gopi said that he has already spoken to state Education Minister M.A. Baby and got an "excellent response" from him.

According to Gopi, there are close to 100 HIV positive kids in state.

"What wrong have these hapless kids done to get this dreaded disease? Their sufferings begin right from the day they are born and even before they learn to begin their lives. They are shunned by the society for no fault of theirs," pointed out Gopi.

The proposed school would be fully residential with all amenities and will also have the best of faculty, he added.

The actor said that the NGO will distribute 'hundis' (copper vessels) among the people to encourage them to save at least Re.1 a day for the project.

"We will be distributing 1 lakh (100,000) hundis to people and they will be opened after a year. This will also be added to the kitty for the school project," Gopi said.

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