In a unique initiative a railway station - Ongole town in Andhra Pradesh has started using its public address and announcement system to not only broadcast arrival and departures of trains but also messages about how to prevent AIDS and the need for safe sex. Andhra Pradesh in India has high incidence of prostitution and AIDS.
Says Janaiah, a 50-year-old porter "The current generation is racing towards HIV/AIDS like mad. I witness a lot of homosexual activity at the station,"
Another porter Yanadi says:"This is a station where a lot of homosexual activity takes place. We can strive to save some lives through such messages," he said.
The station has a floating population of about 40,000 every day. So by the end of the month the message would have reached over one million people it is estimated. This programme was launched with the support of the Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society and railway officials.
Chinna Anjaiah, a doctor posted at the health unit near the railway station said:
"The railways are trying to relocate all its employees who are staying away from their families as an effort in this direction. But the migrant labour working in the granite industry is responsible for the spread and transmission of HIV in the district,"
Pasha a vendor on the station said: "I come across a lot of people who have sexually transmitted diseases, and I refer them to akka (sister),"