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Keeping busy

Aanantha is the kind of celebrity who has no qualms about helping others when he has the time

05 Aug 2020 / 09:01 H.

POPULAR emcee, singer and former radio presenter Anand Rajaram or Aanantha is busy moving on to the next phase of his life, which involves creating content for his own YouTube channel, recording his own songs and getting into stand-up comedy.

After more than a decade at THR Raaga, where he was a co-host on a successful morning show, Aanantha is looking forward to a bright new future.

“I still host and emcee events. I just recorded a song in India called Kaathal. I am just keeping myself busy.”

Aanantha is willing to give his time for a good cause. – Courtesy of Aanantha
Aanantha is willing to give his time for a good cause. – Courtesy of Aanantha

Aanantha has also been a Red Ribbon Ambassador for the Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) since 2009. It all began when he and his radio co-host Uthaya Kumar used to engage with people for their show.

“One of the places we went to was the MAC office in Sentul in 2008. We did not know what MAC stood for. So me and Uthaya were having fun and games with them. MAC told us what they were all about. We thought it was interesting.

“They told us that they were looking for people to be their ambassadors to help eradicate the stigma and wrong information people have about AIDS. So MAC invited us to a briefing and shared a lot of information about HIV and AIDS, as well as all the wrong information out there.”

He admitted he had his own misconceptions, and found the information given to be a revelation.

So whenever MAC has an event, Aanantha does his best to attend and to offer support.

He has been involved with this cause for more than a decade.

Aanantha has always believed that it is good to help others. – Courtesy of Aanantha
Aanantha has always believed that it is good to help others. – Courtesy of Aanantha

“They have a particular event they organise for [local] Indian people living with HIV. A few other friends got involved in [running] motivational camps for those living with HIV.

“So I was invited to be a part of it, to give them motivation, get them involved in some fun activities. When I went there, I saw all these people who looked perfectly normal, who were very happy that we were on board talking about their cause, to help eradicate the stigma attached to their condition and telling people not to ostracise them.

“There was a lot of sharing during group sessions. Like how they can’t go home for celebrations, and if there is a death in the family they are not allowed to attend. How it is difficult for them to get family support.

“I actually met a relative who was HIV positive. We recognised each other and shared some things. It was a real eye opener for me.”

He said there was an active outreach programme and workshops on getting the right information on HIV and AIDS. Of course with the current pandemic, things have been quiet for a while.

Aanantha comes from a family that has always found time to help others . – Courtesy of Aanantha
Aanantha comes from a family that has always found time to help others . – Courtesy of Aanantha

Other than being a Red Ribbon Ambassador for MAC, Aanantha has given his time to hosting special events for free, such as a wheelchair beauty pageant, or helping entertain crowds waiting for their turn at booths set up during Thaipusam, as well as helping individuals born in Malaysia who were deemed stateless and denied identity cards. He also used to help out at the Women’s Aid Organisation.

“I also like to lend my face to animal shelters or animal welfare events to help raise funds.”

His brother Raam is also very involved in several social causes, including helping with blood donation drives and helping those without ICs. The brothers often support and help each other when it comes to social causes.

“My father was a very helpful person. My mother always said we should always go out and help others. That is something that has always been inculcated in us.”

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