A Tribute to Ngairangbam Ratan Singh: Leader, Teacher and Friend

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For could the grave his soul comprise,

Earth would be richer than the skies.

–John Donne (1572-1631 )

We are moved and honoured to write in tribute to Ngairangbam Ratankumar Singh, who was and will always be a leader, teacher and friend to us all.

Ratan was only 50 when we lost him on January 24, 2016. As a person living with HIV for twenty long years, he fought each day the stigma and discrimination caused by the virus. He never faltered and was always positive in his outlook.

Born on April 1, 1965 in Yaiskul, Imphal, Manipur, Ratan graduated from Imphal College in Economics and started his career with Manipur State AIDS Control Society as a finance assistant in 1998. His special leadership abilities and charismatic personality were recognized from the very beginning. Ratan also worked as Joint Secretary of National Coalition of People Living with HIV in India (NCPI+) and as the Program Manager for Vihaan at the Manipur Network of Positive People (MNP+) from May 2013 until his death.

Ratan was a part of a team that studied the economic impact on HIV/AIDS in the state of Manipur organized by the International Labour Organisation in 2001. He was also a member of the rapid assessment survey team on drug abuse in India sponsored by UNODC and a speaker in International AIDS Conference India 2003 in Chennai, India and AIDS 2006 in Toronto, Canada.

Ratan is survived by a devoted and caring family, a wife and a daughter. A wonderful father and a loving husband, he was a good friend to all of us. He worked relentlessly to enhance the wellbeing of people living with HIV. He dedicated his life to improving treatment adherence, reducing stigma and discrimination, and improving the overall HIV response of the country. His integrity and zest for life were examples to us all. His non-judgmental attitude, especially, is sorely missed by all.

A memorial service took place on February 6 2016, in Manipur. We extend our sympathy to his family and his friends. He still lives in our hearts!

In loving memory,

The Alliance India Family

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