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Models help out for HIV/AIDS cause

Imphal, April 25: Eleven foreign models who arrived in Imphal for a fashion show this weekend, walked down Imphal streets this afternoon for a bigger cause — the prevention of HIV and AIDS.

The 11 models from Brazil, Maldova, Russia and Ukraine spent nearly half-an-hour at crowded Paona Bazar, distributing leaflets prepared by the Manipur AIDS Control Society.

The models, in jeans and sleeveless T-shirts, attracted a large crowd at the two ima markets (women’s markets).

The Society is one of the sponsors of the pageant, Elegance of the Indigenous, which will be held at Imphal’s Bheighyachandra open-air theatre on April 27.

The leaflet, Uniting Manipur against AIDS, gives a brief account of the HIV/AIDS situation in Manipur and information on how to prevent the spread of the disease.

In Manipur, of 6,69,044 blood samples screened till December last year, 42,361 tested positive, including 11,878 women and 2,780 children.

The fashion show is being organised by an Imphal-based fashion organisation, Blue Wings, with support from the state government.

The organisers of the event requested the foreign models to be a part of the fight against AIDS and they agreed to distribute the leaflets.

“We feel sad that Manipur is facing a problem with HIV/AIDS. So we are distributing leaflets to make people aware of the problem and we are happy to contribute to the fight against AIDS,” Patricia Goncalves Silva, a well-known Brazilian model, told reporters.

Silva expressed concern at reports of increasing crimes against women in India.

“It (Manipur) is very nice we are happy to be here,” she said.

The fashion show, to be choreographed by Kh. Nishikanta, who is also the event director, will have four rounds.

The first round will showcase ethnic attire and a subsequent one will showcase the bridal attire of the Meiteis.

This is the first time that foreign models will be taking part in a fashion extravaganza in Manipur.

“The main objective of the endeavour is to bring peace through diversity, where the people, and the youth in particular, can get to know their cultural identity and the beauty inherent in it,” Nishikanta said.

The organisers also hope to promote Manipur’s traditional fabrics and patterns in the international fashion circuit to boost the state’s economy.


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