World's largest social mobilisation campaign against HIV/AIDS, 'Red Ribbon Express' has reached Bhopal. The campaign educates masses about the deadly virus. A large number of school children, youth and women turned up to witness the informative programme.
Experts provided useful information on the prevention of the deadly disease during the training and counselling programme being conducted in the train.
"The exhibition has been convened in three coaches of "The Red Ribbon Express" -- giving information regarding not only about HIV/AIDS but also about TB and National Rural Health Mission through films and audio-visual aids. Besides this, there is one auditorium where a training programme is being conducted for special groups," said Savita Thakur, Deputy Director of Madhya Pradesh Aids Control Society.
The train is also presents audio-visual inputs and films to inform about the syndrome in interesting way.
The unusual medium is generating interest among the people. "It is very good medium for awareness. A person can get all the answers of queries he has after reading in this (train) and take safeguards at his level," said Atul Saxena, a spectator.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi flagged off the 'Red Ribbon Express' on December 1.
The project aims to spread information regarding primary prevention services; to develop an understanding of the disease, to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with AIDS and to enhance people's knowledge about preventive measures, health habits and lifestyle.
The train will traverse over 27,000 km covering 180 stations holding programmes and activities in over 50,000 villages. The train will return to Delhi on December 1, 2009.
The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation has conceived the idea to combat HIV/AIDS through a specially-designed seven coach train. AIDS has acquired the status of endemic in India -- where over 2.5 million people are thought to be living with HIV/AIDS -- and putting millions of more lives at risk.
According to the latest UN figures on AIDS, the global prevalence of HIV AIDS has levelled off in part due to effective HIV programs. Still, in 2007, there are 33.2 million people infected with the disease -- about 30.8 million adults and 2.5 million children.
Latest figures show 2.5 million people have become newly infected and 2.1 million people will die of AIDS related causes in 2007.