Sunday, June 23, 2024

Folk art as tool to spread awareness on AIDS


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: As part of its ongoing Multimedia Campaign targeting the youths of the state, Meghalaya AIDS Control Society in collaboration with 93.5 RED FM conceptualized and produced an On Air Contest on the popular Khasi Folk Form “Phawar” based on issues related to HIV and AIDS, the “Red Ribbon – Phawar Star”.

To capitalize on this popular folk art, MACS and RED FM invited participants to this competition where they composed Phawars incorporating HIV and AIDS related themes.

This was done with the objective to spread awareness on AIDS and its effects. The on Air competition through 93.5 RED FM started on October 14 and for past one month, listeners have been sending in their SMSes voting for their favorite contestant.

The “Red Ribbon – Phawar Star” competition finally came to an end on the Saturday at a grand finale held at Smit. MLA of Nongkrem Constituency AM Basaiawmoit was the Chief Guest on this occasion.

Wengbran Buphang was crowned the “Red Ribbon – Phawar Star”, with Habanjop Marboh and Bashanbor Kharbudon coming in second and third respectively.

Ardent lauded the efforts of the Meghalaya AIDS Control Society in conceptualizing and organizing these innovative awareness campaigns.

He said that this strategy of MACS and RED FM in using ‘Phawar” to incorporate messages of HIV and AIDS is one communication tool which can be very effective especially in targeting the rural audience. He also stressed that parents should speak to their children on these topics in particular on the safe and risky behaviours related to the subject.

Phawar is known to the people of the Khasi Hills as a popular folk genre whereby people compose and perform on various themes, ranging from social, political issues to general every day topics, usually sung on festive occasions. These prose like songs, have become so popular that the lyrics and the content of these phawars command great recall value.


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