Panchkula, 28th February, 2010 : On the eve of ‘Holi’, the BUTTERFLY: Nature Club of India (BNCI) conducted a Field Survey among the migrant workers (single persons of other States between the age group of 15-49 years) to know their mode of celebration in the selected slums of Panchkula. More than 500 migrant workers were approached keeping in view the HIV Infection on the pretext of their unsafe sex habits. More than 50 per cent of them told that they will celebrate Holi under the influence of Alcohol, Bhang, Bhukki etc. it is further revealed that many of them will also enjoy sex in the evening with the Sex Workers available in the slums.
Therefore, keeping in view the high risk behaviour of these migrant workers, BNCI organized a Special Health Camp in collaboration ofHaryana State AIDS Control Society (HSACS) today in the early morning at Labour Chowk (Indira-Rajiv Colony) Panchkula. In this Health Camp, Information Education Communication (IEC) on HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Safe Sex were conducted.
Dr. Avnish Jolly (Secretary BNCI) addressing the migrant workers on the eve of Holi also advised them to play a ‘Safe Holi’. To play ‘Safe Holi’ he further exhorted the migrants to avoid unsafe sex practices and to always use condoms. Appealing the young migrant workers, Dr. Jolly also talked about the ‘ABC Strategy of NACO’ for the management of HIV/AIDS in the country. Regarding the ABC Strategy, he stressed upon the “Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condom Use”.
Congratulating the migrant workers, Mrs. Pinki H. Madaan (President BNCI) stressed on “To Play Safe Holi” telling them that now the HIV infection has been reached among the general population from the high risk groups. Talking about the vulnerability of transmission of HIV among migrants, Mrs. Madaan shared detailed information about the routes of HIV and STD transmission from high risk population to general population. Stressing upon the safe sex practices, she advised the workers.
Mr. Rajiv Sindhu, Assistant Director (HSACS) shared that taking action against HIV/AIDS is everyone’s responsibility. We cannot let HIV/AIDS continue to ravage peoples’ lives, destroy families and become a burden on society. The State call on the private sector, the business sector, the civil society and religious communities to join together in the fight against HIV & AIDS. The migrant workers have been made aware that there are many welfare measures under the constitution and States’ Labour Welfare Department/Boards are responsible for their implementation.
Dr. Pardeep K. Kanwar medically examined more than 230 migrant workers in the early morning, out of them 26 were given free treatment for severe STDs and 52 have been referred to ICTC for HIV Test. The Volunteer Peer Leaders and Staff of the BNCI (Dr. Udaveer Singh (Project Manager), Jagram Chaudhary (Counsellor), Rajaram Gupta, Naresh Kumar, Surander Mani and Veer Bharati) have Social Marketed 2850 Quality Condoms and 1140 condoms have been distributed under free supply. The migrant workers also played Holi with the BNCI Staff and entertained with the Folk Songs on the occasions.