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Hello Everyone,

I am finally relieved that the last obligation of sending the cheques for the

awardees for the UNAIDS Competition on Mainstreaming Issues of

Men-Having-Sex-With-Men (MSM) and Transgender, held as a World AIDS Day Event,

have all been finally despatched after all the hassles of navigating the

complicated UN bureaucracy.

The final winneers were

First Prize -- Rs. 10,000 and a crystal plaque went to Nestam Project of the

Sarada Valley Development Samitii of Thummapala, Vizag District.

Second Prize -- Rs. 7,500 and a Crystal Plate went to Gramasiri Nestam Project

of Guntur District

Third Prize -- Rs. 5,000 and a Crystal Plate went to Dum-Dum Swikriti Society,

Kolkata suburbs

There were 48 entries in all from all over India and the panel of three included

Ranjit Batra, art collector of Delhi, Kuku Debries, Teacher at the American

School in Delhi and Ph.D. Student on LGBT Issues in India and Marie Denoud,

Ph.D. Intern at UNAIDS working under me. at the MSM/TG desk in Delhi.

The prizes were given away by the French Ambassador in Delhi on World AIDS Day

2007 in the evening at the Alliance Fransaise in Lodhi Garden. It is to the

credit of the community that all the posters were well appreciated -- and

stolen, during the night in one go.

I apologise for not being able to afford a night watchman to guard our

collective treasures.

The cheques, however, were finally sent off today.

The contest was unique in that every group had to make a poster and take it to

the nearest college to explain to the students the stigma and discrimination gay

men, lesbians, transgender and others feel and what can be done about it. Two

sets of posters -- one by the community group and one by the students -- were

sent to UNAIDS where they were judged by the panel that sat through two days in

our conference room.

UNAIDS and I personally thank all the LGBT groups which participated.

It speaks volumes that somebody thought they were precious enough to steal.

Hope somebody they don't end up at the Louvre. :-)

Ashok Row Kavi


e-mail: arowkavi@...

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