Guwahati: Rongali Bihu, the most popular festival of Assam that will be celebrated this weekend, will see some leading singers and performers help generate awareness about HIV/AIDS which has affected 14,000 people in the state.
The festival, also known as Bohag Bihu, marks the agricultural New Year of Assam.
Some leading performers of the state have been roped in by the National Aids Control Organization (NACO) in association with the Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) to spread awareness about the disease, which has killed 419 people in the state so far.
"We have so far tied up leading singer Manas Robin and performer Tarun Tanmoy for an hour long programme on HIV/AIDS. They will sing songs to generate awareness about the disease and ways to stay away from it," a source in ASACS told IANS.
"We have selected the Bihu festival due to its popularity. Rongali Bihu is the most popular festival of Assam. It has appeal for people of all age groups, from children to the elderly," said the source, adding that people will prefer to listen to their icons instead of reading literature and following instructions about the disease.
Although the Bohag Bihu is a week long festival, the celebration continues almost throughout the month.
The festival is about celebrating the onset of spring season. It starts from the 13th day of April.
"We want to organise the programme in the sub-urban areas where people are not aware of the disease. So we have selected Sonapur and Dharapur in Kamrup district for the programme," said the source.
The Kamrup district records the highest HIV/AIDS infected people in the state at 2,675.
"It is a good thing that ASACS have decided to spread awareness about the HIV/AIDS through Bihu songs. I have composed a few of the songs on the topic of HIV/AIDS, which I will present before the audience in Bihu rhythm," singer Manas Robin told IANS.
"Bihu functions are being celebrated for more than one month throughout the state. We are trying to rope in other singers and performers too so that we can spread the programme to other parts of the state too," the source added.