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Preview for counselors at PSI September 22, 2007

Posted by humsafar in 68 pages, counselors, MSM, PSI.
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“Thank you for the wonderful movie. Below is the feedback from our counselors and team members. We are glad to hear that it will be screened during trainings for SACS counselors. It is a good tool to reach out to a lot of people working in this field. I hope you will soon have the sub-titled version, so that we can have an opportunity to screen it to our team members in South India.”
~ Gopa Khan, PSI

68 Pages
By Humsafar

Feedback:
This movie was screened for PSI’s Refresher training on Sept 6th , 2007 for over 25 VCT and Helpline counselors and other VCT staff members. The movie was well-received by the counselors and PSI staff. Everyone felt that it was an unusual and well made movie that provided a counselors perspective on how a counselor should ideally be non-judgemental and supportive of HIV Positive clients and be their advocate.

The key role played by “Mansi” Counselor and her perspective on her clients were shared by the PSI counselors. Most of them could relate to her role and felt it was their life being played out in the movie and the various challenges they faced with their clients.

The important aspect of the movie was how it brought characters and situations alive and made them “normal” and “real” for the general audience. Most of our clients who are CSW or transgendered clients face daily harassment and stigma and discrimination. Showing their daily lives with their families, their concerns for survival made counselors realize the challenges our clients face. The discrimination faced by “Payal” in the hospital by a nurse bought to the fore the challenges the clients face with the burden of being HIV Positive.

“Kiran” and his partners role was greatly appreciated by the counselors. Such movies help bring out sexuality issues in the open and remove the stigma associated with MSM clients. The breakdown in the relationship between the couple was well defined and the poignant moment when the counselor reveals “Kirans” HIV status and the counselor’s and the client’s grief in dealing with the unexpected test result.

The other touching episode was the role of the BMC sweeper, who was an unknown person, who succumbs to his illness and the guilt the counselor faced of being so close but not reaching out to the client before it was too late.

Humsafar’s effort to bring all these roles of people together is commendable and we all feel that such a movie will not only make a huge difference in counselors, health workers and in their approach in dealing with our clients with humanity but also bring about a sea-change in the general populations attitude towards a sex worker, a transgender or a MSM client. All the characters depicted in the film makes one realize that anyone can get infected –a sex worker , MSM , a sweeper or a person working in an MNC. If this point comes across to the general population, anyone into risk behaviour would be less complacent. We hope this movie will be screened to all healthworkers, doctors, counselors and the general population. An incredible movie much needed today.

Thank-you Humsafar for bringing out such a wonderful and strong movie with a message for all.