In a novel mode of AIDS awareness, a non-governmental organisation in Chandigarh is holding 'Condom Promotion Month'.
Launched jointly by Yuvsatta and State AIDS Control Society, the month long campaign includes a magic show that aims to spread AIDS awareness among truckers. It's been noticed that a majority of the truckers are illiterate. They have no awareness about AIDS or HIV disease.
Starting from the transport area in the city, the campaign will cover different slum areas where people from downtrodden sections reside.
Besides a magic show, interactive one-to-one sessions, street plays, condom fairs, poster exhibitions and screening of films will be part of the promotional-cum-awareness campaign.
"It's a month long campaign in which our staff members and other volunteers will be going door-to-door to meet truck drivers and people from other segments of the society for promoting usage of condom. We think that there is no cure for HIV / AIDS, only prevention is the cure. Thus, condom is the best method which everybody can use," said Pramod Kumar, Coordinator Yuvsatta, the non government organisation.
Moreover, thousands of condom packets have been distributed to the people wherever the volunteers have so far gone for the campaign.
The awareness campaign aims to educate people, especially the youth and women and to motivate them to use condoms. It is hoped that it will prevent people from not only HIV infections but also from sexually transmitted diseases.
"Truck drivers stay away from their homes for a long time. And as sex becomes a necessity for them, they indulge in unsafe sex, which increases the chance of spreading HIV-AIDS. So, NGOs are coming forward to make them aware of the benefits of condom use. This is the main motto behind our campaign," said Sunil Kumar, Consultant (Youth Affairs), Chandigarh State AIDS control society.
"These volunteers have explained to us the importance and use of condoms," said Kalvinder Singh, a transporter.
"Whoever understands the importance of safe sex and is keen to guard against the disease, liked this programme," said Happy, another transporter. n a population of nearly 1.1 million Chandigarh has an estimated 300,000 migrants living in slums.
Previously, Yuvsatta had opened 'Condom bars' at its field offices in different slums to distribute free condoms. The organization is also working among sex workers living in these slums.
Yuvsatta is aiming to educate truckers, as they believed to be one of the main groups responsible for spreading HIV infection.