Aradhana Sharon, also known as the youngest AIDS activist — she is nine years old — is an engaging public speaker. Addressing gatherings since the age of five, she has been consistently upholding causes, such as, ‘Save the girl child’ and water conservation. Spending time with children, who are HIV+ve, and inmates of homes for the underprivileged, Aradhana Sharon, a student of Class 4 of Chennai Public School, has always been interested in causes.
When she took to public speaking without a hint of stage fright, it had to be about causes close to her heart. But, it is the cause of alleviating the pain and stigma attached to AIDS that she has espoused with the greatest enthusiasm. She says with a shy smile, “I tell people it doesn’t spread the way they think. I want to reinforce that message.” She has been part of AIDS awareness campaigns since 2014, every year. Idolising young activist Malala Yousafzai, Aradhana’s public speaking skills are famous across schools in Chennai. She is like any other child in her age group, but when she gets hold of the mike, she is a different person, according to her father, M Murali, an advocate and businessman, and mother, Anitha, a fashion designer.
“She doesn’t have to memorise speeches, she understands the subject and can speak without an awkward pause. She enjoys the exercise and loves it when students congratulate her,“ says the visibly proud mother. After touching upon several issues, she is poised to raise awareness on Swachh Bharat Abhi yan . Her father adds, “We are waiting for a platform for her to speak.”