2023-01-13 INDIA

Marcellin Trust – Operation Rainbow Project celebrated the Pongal

Marcellin Trust – Operation Rainbow Project that work to reduce the fear and isolation experienced by families affected by HIV in Trichy, India, celebrated the Pongal last 8th January. About 70 families, nearly 180 people, participated in the celebration.

Pongal celebration is one of the popular festivals celebrated grandly by people in Tamil Nadu. It is generally known as the festival of thanksgiving by farmers who thank Sun God, mother Earth and cattle who play major role in farming and harvesting. It is also a celebration of prosperity which comes with good harvest. It is celebrated for four days. People cook Pongal – sweet rice and offer it to Sun God and cattle.

Parents and children enthusiastically took part in various games and the winners were awarded. Some families enjoyed cooking Pongal. Many participated in a drawing competition. There were many special guests and the Rainbow children and students of Bishop Heber College enthused the crowd through their dances and activities.

Reducing the fear and isolation experienced by families affected by HIV in Trichy

Of the 65 million people living in the state of Tamil Nadu, approximately 650,000 are HIV positive. Of these, one in seven is a child under the age of 14. These people are some of the most neglected in society because of their poor knowledge about the virus and its effects. Because of the stigma associated with the disease, many families don’t access the services that can assist in managing the illness and its resulting hardships.

Operation Rainbow, was established in 2003 by the Marist Brothers to provide support to families and children affected by HIV. It works with families in their own settings and assists them access resources available within their local communities.

Operation Rainbow provides families and individuals with community support that enables them to live with dignity. This support is provided through home visits, free medical seminars, counselling and HIV awareness courses. An ongoing initiative of Operation Rainbow is the monthly Rainbow Family Gathering. This event gathers together those in the community who are being supported by the program, which helps to reduce the isolation that these families often feel.

Your help can be done through the Australian Marist Solidarity, in this link.


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