Anjali Gopalan is the Founder of The Naz Foundation, a not for profit organization dedicated to fight HIV/AIDS in India. Naz uses a holistic rights-based approach to fight HIV, focusing on prevention and treatment. Since founding Naz India, she has spoken in numerous international venues about the importance of advancing research to aid HIV prevention, and also on the importance of providing quality care to those living with the HIV infection. Gopalan also runs a home for HIV-positive orphans. Then again, she is the instigator of advancing the rights of gays and the transgendered, through successfully petitioning the courts of India to get rid of a British-era sodomy laws.
Interviewed by Stephen M. Thompson, Ph.D.
Welcome to OpenBeast. Tell us about yourself?
I am a single woman living in New Delhi, India. Besides working on issues of HIV/aids and sexuality I also work on animal rights and care.
What is “The Naz Foundation” all about?
The Naz Foundation (India) Trust is a New Delhi based AIDS Service Organization. We work on Prevention and Care.
So how did you get involved with sexual health related issues?
Well if one works on HIV/AIDS you have to work on sexual health related issues. HIV prevention cannot happen if sexual health is not addressed.
Talk to us about your home for orphans?
The care home for orphans’ houses 29 children. The youngest is now 5 and the oldest 17. These children have lost both parents to HIV and are living with HIV themselves. They all go to school and have a pretty full life with yoga three times a week, tutors everyday to help with homework, Bollywood dance for those who want to learn it. We do focus on high quality nutrition.
What do you consider as your biggest achievement thus far?
Getting a great judgment from the Delhi High Court which decriminalizes homosexuality and the setting up of the care home.
Tell us about your “GOAL” program.
GOAL is a sport for development program. The sport is netball which is taught to girls in the age range of 12 to 19. This is done along with a training component which includes capsules on health, environment and financial literacy. Many of these girls are from highly marginalized communities and have never played a sport before.
How can our readers help your foundation?
By volunteering and fundraising. Please visit our website.
What are your leisure time activities?
I spend a lot of time gardening, reading and listening to music and of course working with animals.
For more detail, voluntary opportunities, or to sponsor a child visit Naz India at www.nazindia.org.