Initiated by Mrs. Parmeshwar Godrej and Richard Gere, the Project in the first three years received a grant of $2.4 million from Avahan, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s India AIDS Initiative.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation provided technical guidance to the Project and has granted production funding for the media campaign.
Under a unique partnership, Star India too committed the Project an estimated $14 million worth of free airtime across its various channels over the first three-year enabling an estimated reach of over 70 million viewers. The renewed partnership through 2009 will bring Star India’s five-year commitment to a total of $23.16 million.
Parmeshwar Godrej [Chairperson, Heroes AIDS Project]
Hailing from one of India’s largest and most influential families, Parmeshwar Godrej is renowned for her philanthropic work and commitment to drawing attention to the plight of poor, women and children in the country. Creating awareness about HIV/AIDS is another issue that is close to her heart. She spearheaded the successful event, ‘A Time for Heroes, India’, which heightened the political and community awareness of the AIDS pandemic in India and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. The success of this event laid the foundation for the formation of ‘Heroes Project’ and subsequently, funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Parmeshwar has also personally assisted earthquake disaster victims in Gujarat and worked with many charities to improve the lives of people suffering from cancer. Through Godrej Industries, she has made her mark in providing educational aid, medical treatment to the poor, assistance in disaster prone areas as well as support in preserving historic and cultural monuments. To date, the company has spent in excess of Rs 1000 million on providing education, hospitals, land, ambulances and key support services to the poor in India.
She serves on the board of Godrej Properties, Gates Foundation, The American India Foundation, The Palace School in Jaipur, JCB Board, Sir Ellykadoorie School, IHHR Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. and the Ananda Hotels.
Mrs. Godrej funded the NAZ foundation’s home based care program ensuring care and support to People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), through the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, prior to the inception of the Heroes Project.
She believes in working hard behind the scenes and has declined most awards presented to her for her philanthropic work.
Avahan is a $200 million grant making initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that supports programs working to prevent the spread of HIV in India. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to promote greater equity in four areas: global health, education, public libraries, and support for at-risk families in Washington state and Oregon. It forges alliances with local, national, and international partners to ensure that advances in these areas reach those who need them most. The foundation is led by Bill Gates’ father, William H. Gates, Sr., and Patty Stonesifer.
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
The Henry j. Kaiser Family Foundation is an independent national health philanthropy dedicated to providing information and analysis on health issues to policymakers, the media and general public. It partners with entertainment media organizations, develops multi-faceted public education campaigns on important health issues and focuses on providing young people with information about reproductive and sexual health issues such as HIV. Information on HIV/AIDS is available at www.kff.org, and a daily news summary report on development on HIV/AIDS is available on kaisernetwork.org, the Foundation’s free health information service.