Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chandigarh, 9th October 2008 :To see the burning effigies of a Demon on the day of Dushera Festival as a symbol of truth prevailing over evil is still very much popular in our society. Volunteers of Yuvsatta and State AIDS Control Society, U.T., Chandigarh in collaboration with the community gave it a new dimension with erecting an effigy of a demon of HIV/AIDS & Drugs Abuse in Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, Chandigarh.
More than thousand people from all walks of life, especially children, females, senior citizens and Volunteers of all the NGO’s implementing HIV/AIDS Project in the city like FPAI, SAFOSH, AIWC, SOPS, IPHA, Sehat etc. were present on the occasion and Dr. Vanita Gupta, Project Director, State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh was the Chief Guest.
The programme started with magic tricks of magician Ved Parkash, who through his lively tricks informed people about ways of transmission of HIV/AIDS virus and ill-effects of Drug Abuse.
On this occasion Dr. Vanita Gupta said that with cases of exchange of needles for drug abuse, people not using condoms at vulnerable times due to alcoholism or lack of awareness, tobacco addictions which at times leads to other hard drugs, the youth today is at risk. In India 35% of reported new HIV infections are in the age group of 15-24 years. So, they have used the occasion of DUSHERA to bring to the people, especially to the youth the message of healthy life-style.
Showing their solidarity and trust, later the effigy of demon of HIV/AIDS & Drugs Abuse was put on fire jointly with Dr. Vanita Gupta and people of all major faiths a Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Christian alongwith Mr. Krishan Lal, President of Resident Welfare Association. The children of Bapu Dham who stood guard of the effigy during previous night Sooraj, Shailender, Vikram, Inderpal, Ashok, Anil, Ganga Kumar were also honoured on the occasion.
Expressing his satisfaction over the initiative Mr. Parmod Sharma, Coordinator of Yuvsatta said that this is indication of the belief that in present times when evils are widespread, there certainly would be a turning point when these would be trampled by justice and righteous entities. He also thanked all the participants to make this event a grand success.