Female cricket captains befriend HIV infected people, advocate girls’ participation in sports
Dhaka, 21 November, 2011: The skippers of five teams fighting for supremacy in the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2011 met with members of the PLHIV network of Bangladesh at the Mohammadpur office of Ashar Alo Society. This meeting was a part of the “Think Wise” campaign. In this meeting, the players learnt about the sufferings of the infected and affected persons and the stigma and discrimination they face.
The players included Salma Khatun from Bangladesh, Dilani Manodara from Sri Lanka, Sana Mir from Pakistan, Mignon du Preez from South Africa and Merissa Aguilleira from the West Indies.
They made an appeal to all through this programme that everybody should be more empathetic to the HIV infected and affected people. They also requested everybody not to discriminate and stigmatize in the name of HIV as it does not spread by shaking hands or hugs; it does not also spread if one has safe sex and has one partner.
“The discrimination meted out to people living with HIV is very unfortunate. We, the players, feel that only proper awareness can end such prejudices pervasive in the society,” they said.
During the programme, they also championed the cause of girls’ participation in sports especially in developing countries like Bangladesh, and raised voice against violence against women and early marriage in order to ensure the rights of the girl child, in particular.
The ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2011 (WWCQ) started in Dhaka, which is being played across four venues from 14 to 26 November.
Meanwhile, the Think Wise campaign is a joint effort of UNICEF, UNAIDS, ICC and GMI, where the popularity of cricket is used to make the youth aware of safe sex, HIV prevention and treatment.