Barbers in Patna have taken up AIDS awareness programme to educate people in the region in an effort to spread awareness on safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases amongst the locals. Barbers have undertaken a campaign to reach out to a large number of people through their customers.
"We people get trained under the AIDS awareness program. We impart the same to our customers when they come to our saloons. We also get the condoms from there free of cost and distribute those to our customers," said Prabhu Thakur, a barber.
Barbers casually broach the topic of AIDS, the dangers of unprotected sex and the need to know more about the deadly infection.
Almost all the barbers in the town have been especially trained to spread awareness about the disease.
The people coming to the saloon observe that this is a very easy way of sending the message across to the households.
The discussions in the saloons spread in the society through friends and gossipmongers.
Customers said that they are generally shy discussing 'such issues', but then the barber imparts the information in a very casual manner.
"While barber was shaving, he educated me on AIDS. I did not know such details about the deadly disease earlier," said Suman Saurabh, a customer.
The number of people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in India is about 2.47 million.
Yet over 40 percent of all Indian women have not heard of AIDS, creating a dangerous combination of lack of knowledge and greater sexual activity.