Holding placards and banners on AIDS awareness, school and college students held a three-km march near Delhi University on World AIDS Day Saturday and spoke about the disease and its prevention to the people on the way.
The rally, organised by the Delhi State AIDS Control Society, was flagged off by Shakti Nagar legislator Shadi Ram. Around 700 students wearing caps with messages 'Delhi Bolo AIDS Nahi' took part. They chanted slogans like "Har Chehere Par Ho Muskan, AIDS Ka Na Ho Namo Nishan" and "Chalo Condom Ke Sath".
They spoke to vendors, owners of roadside shops and rickshaw pullers about AIDS. "We are educating people about the deadly disease and how they can secure their and others' lives through prevention," said Kajal Sharma, a Class 9 student.
Vishu Malhotra, a first year B.Com student of Hansraj College, said: "Today I spoke to at least 25 people about the use of condoms. I will continue this practice."
"I have promised myself that from now on I will al least educate all the bus conductors and drivers about AIDS and the myths associated with it during my daily travel to college," he told IANS.
Added Hemlata, a final year student of Miranda House College, "People are unaware of the problem, and it's everyone's duty to at least spread awareness about AIDS to those with whom they chat every day. People should take pride in informing others."
The students also organised a street play at the university sports ground, which was attended by Kathak dancer duo Nalini and Kamalini, tarot card reader Poonam Sethi and painter Vijender Sharma among others.
Students and members of the public also signed a 250-metre cloth banner with their messages.
India is home to an estimated 2.5 million HIV-positive people, including 70,000 children.