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January 2007 batch

Aazamina Rangwala
Strengthening HIV Peer Education Programs (Sangli, Maharashtra)

Aazamina grew up in the greater Washington metropolitan area with a compassionate and diplomatic outlook on life. After graduating with a degree in Community Health from the University of Maryland, Aazamina began working for a large international development organization. There she was able to gain valuable experience by working on HIV prevention programs at the macro level, however felt distant from the cause she supported because she was unable to contribute directly at the grassroots level. Aazamina chose to come to India to share her talents and experiences through a different capacity. As an Indicorps Fellow, Aazamina partnered with the Verala Development Society (www.verala.org) to empower peer educators so they could effectively educate and promote safer sex behaviors among migrant workers which are known to be a high-risk group and ultimately prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Alongside her natural inclination to actively participate in India’s development and to address some of the successes and challenges the country collectively faces, Aazamina thought it was important to become fluent in her culture so that she could build new bridges and connections to a country her parents once called home. Through her fellowship experience, Aazamina strived to redefine India. In the process, she claimed a sense of her identity distinct from familial connections to Indian.