There were many ways for people — individuals and groups — to show how they cared about AIDS in conjunction with World AIDS Day that fell on Dec. 1. Some groups launched campaigns by giving people red roses, while another group, consisting of people living with HIV/AIDS (ODHA) and supporters, found a unique way to arouse people’s awareness on the issue. Instead of giving out red roses, the group handed out leaves from the sansevieria plant, most popularly known as mother-in-law’s tongue or devil’s tongue.
Members of Yayasan Spirit Paramacitta Foundation, together with students from Mahasaraswati University and Yayasan Generasi Bisa Foundation, were seen giving these leaves to people. Sansevieria plants are believed to act as good air purifiers by removing various toxins and are also said to cure several illnesses. Unlike most of the plants, sansevieria absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. For these young people, sansevieria leaves symbolized their support for ODHA to lead healthy and happy lives.
“ODHA are very vulnerable to infections. They need to look after their physical hygiene and sanitation. Therefore, we chose to use sansevieria leaves,” Opie Sulaeman, one of the activists, said. The plants were donated by Youth Red Cross Club from Mahasaraswati and local residents. “Many people do not have any knowledge of the multi-benefits of this plant,” Opie said. All people deserve to lead a healthy life. For ODHA, clean air and sanitation are important to maintain their health. “Lung infections could be a nightmare for them [ODHA].”
Other organizations also held activities, such as children’s storytelling, drawing competitions and many others. Nelly Risnadevi, a student from Mahasaraswati University said that they were discussing ways to effectively support and help ODHA. “Showing sympathy is not enough. Real actions are needed to help them,” Nelly said. According to data from Bali Health Agency, lung diseases affect many people in Bali and have become one of top tropical diseases found in local community health centers.
source : bali daily