The India Post, Chandigarh, 30th September, 2008 :Four day training workshop on ‘Red Ribbon Express (RRE)’ is started by Punjab Zonal office, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) an autonomous body of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India for effective implementation of the comprehensive health campaign on rail about HIV-AIDS at the CYP Asia Centre which will enter in Punjab in the last week of October, 2008.
The workshop was inaugurated by Mr. J. S. Kooner, Zonal Director, NYKS. He exhorted the participants to organize themselves, and work for the development of the Community and participate in this activity. This can be done by first empowering themselves through education and skill building. After the inauguration Dr. Avnish Jolly, facilitator highlighted the Objectives of the Consultation and Brief on Agenda of Workshop was also discussed.
The orientation is organized for NYKS field officers, cultural performers, PRIs members, Youth Club leaders/members, local media persons, and volunteers. Objective of this orientation is too discussed in detail with the participants the skills required to be good peer educators. They were advised how to form network in their areas and villages, and how the members could derive the maximum benefit from them. The participants were also empowered on different health related issues and different guidelines and home remedies were discussed with them in length to cope-up with stress, maintain their activity of daily life and whom to contact during illness. The technical sessions were conducted by different facilitators on the inaugural day.
Mr. J. S. Kooner explained that RRE Project, conceptualized by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, is being implemented by NACO in association with NYKS as a multi-sectoral project to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS and promote safe behavioral practices. It is a National Campaign to mainstream the issue of HIV/AIDS through a train that will traverse over 9000 kms during the year, covering about 180 districts/halt stations and hold programmes and activities in 43,200 villages. The concept is a broad based multimedia, multi-sectoral mass mobilization project in the country to make it a holistic and comprehensive campaign to mobilize people’s movement against HIV/AIDS.
The vision behind the project is to promote a multi-sectoral effort by which HIV/AIDS could be mainstreamed within the context of overall socio-economic development rather than merely as a medical/public health issue.
The project with primarily focus on rural areas aimed at:
1. Disseminating information regarding primary prevention services;
2. Developing an understanding about the disease to reduce stigma & discrimination against People Living with HIV/AIDS and;
3. Strengthening people’s knowledge about the measures to be taken to prevent getting HIV/AIDS; and
4. Adopting preventive health habits and lifestyle.
General population with focus on youth groups, women self help group members, adolescents/ student community from schools & colleges, PRI members, youth in uniformed services and out of school/non-student youth in the community.
Red Ribbon Express Train Coach Details:
The Red Ribbon Express will consist of seven coaches as follows:
1. Coach I, Exhibition: It will have display of educational material, primarily on HIV/AIDS, interactive touch screens and 3-D models.
2. Coach II, Exhibition: It will have display of educational material with focus on HIV/AIDS linked to NRHM programmes, such as PPTCT services in the context of RCH II, HIV-TB co-infection etc.
3. Coach III, Exhibition: It will have display of educational material with focus on HIV within the socio-developmental context (inter-sectoral/ mainstreaming approach)
4. Coach IV, Auditorium cum Conference: It will have arrangements for orientation/ sensitization of selected groups such as PRIs, AWWs, SHGs, youth and women. A group of 48 people can be oriented in one batch with three sessions planned per day. It will have LCD projector and platform for folk performances.
5. Coach V, Counseling cum Medical Services: It will have six cabins- 4 counseling cabins and two doctor’s cabins for providing counseling and syndromic treatment for STI and RTI cases. There will be no HIV testing facility on board. However, provisions for referral services to the nearby ICTC and other care & support services on HIV/AIDS will be ensured.
6. Coach VI, Sleeper coach: In this coach 50 performer’s team from NYKS will be traveling.
7. Coach VII, Office, Dinning cum pantry
According to Mr. J. S. Kooner step wise activities in the coaches will follows as:
Activities in the Coach and at the station – Programmes like Exhibition, IEC, Behaviour Change Communication (BCC), training, counselling, dissemination of information on services etc will be organized in the train and at the platform. Train and platform activities will be organized by RRE project team of NACO in coordination with District level Organizing Committee (DLOC), State AIDS Control Society (SACS) and Railways.
Activities in the areas around stations – An environment building campaign in the villages,prior to programme day, is being organised by NYKS through its network with slogan/wall writing, posting of posters, rallies and mass contact drives. Programmes like performances of local cultural group, Nukkad Natak by 06 trained RRE Cultural Teams of 08-10 participants each; who would be travelling in the train, installation of information desks, Focus Group Discussion, commitment to form the Red Ribbon Clubs, feedback survey etc. will be organized in 24 villages around the halt station each day. Programmes will be organized locally in the identified villages by the District Youth Coordinator with the help of District level Organizing Committee (DLOC), PRI and Youth Clubs of the area. Six RRE cultural teams will move in cycle rally formation and minimum four performances in different villages will be presented by these teams.
Activities in other un-reached areas – Programmes will be organized in far-flung rural areas by two buses caravan associated with the Red Ribbon Express (the train). IEC, folk performers, counseling and condom promotion are the activities planned under this prong. These activities will be implemented by the SACS in collaboration with the District level Organizing Committee.
Mr. J. S. Kooner is confident that after the training the NYKS volunteers will mobilize the masses in collaboration with local NGOs, NSS, NCC, Scouts and Guides, Red Cross, youth wings of political parties and CBOs such as Lions and Rotary clubs are being involved in this mega awareness campaign and the development partners, elected representatives, PRIs will be roped in to enhance the reach in rural areas and other uncovered areas. The district wise micro activity chart for effective implementation will be finalized by NYKS in consultation with the team of SACS/RRE team on the last day of workshop.