Kolkata: Tarit Chakrobarty, secretary of Bengal Network of People Living with HIV AIDS, is a young crusader in West Bengal is spreading awareness across the state. An AIDS victim himself, Tarit is a fighters teaching others like himself how to fight pain, stigma and alienation they meet as they are victims of this deadly disease.
Bengal Network of People Living with HIV AIDS is an organisation comprising of men and women who are HIV positive. This advocacy group spreads across 20 centres in 19 districts of West Bengal.
Tarit, 39, tested positive in 2002. He overcame depression, fear, shame and is now teaching others to do the same.
Tarit said, "When I have come to this world I know I have to fight. When I tested HIV positive my fight increased, not against my parents but society for our rights. We are also human beings we are also part of the society."
Standing by him through it all is Binod Ranjan Chakrabarty, Tarit's 70-year-old father, who has taught his only child to live without shame and the fear of persecution.
"The doctors told me my son will live for only 6-7 years maximum. I kept on waiting for seven years now. It was a difficult time but thankfully he is getting better," said Binod Ranjan Chakrabarty.
Tarit has brought together 9000 HIV-positive people from across Bengal and has taught them to live for others and fight for themselves. In the process he has won some friends.
"I have got a lot of friends now since I tested positive from across the state, from across the country across the world. Now I can say that I am proud to be HIV Positive," said Tarit.
There are over 23 million people living with the virus in India.