The India Post, Kurukshetra, 7th November, 2008 : The Red Ribbon Express (RRE) a project –infotainment on wheels Lunched by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangthan, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation & National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) with aim to create awareness among the population particularly the rural people about the HIV/AIDS is arriving Haryana on November 14th., 2008.
This was disclosed by Mr. Alwan Masih , Zonal Director, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangthan Haryana Zone while addressing media here today.
Mr. Masih informed that the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan Haryana has identified 288 programme villages and 1152 adjoining villages in 8 Districts of Haryana Ambala, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Jind, Rohtak,Bhiwani,Hisar,Rewadi wherein cultural teams will visit under the awareness programme besides organizing a special Programme on AIDS at Rewari on Nov.27.
“The Nehru Yuva Kendra Saangathan Haryana has identified the route chart of the activities to be organized by the Local cultural team and train cultural team by Zulfiqar Khan and Raghuvir Kanwal. Dr. Avnish Jolly. Facilitator RRE, Haryana was also present at this movement. These Teams are also selected today at Kurukshetra Apart from this training to Youth Clubs representative, Mahila Mandal representatives and PRI representatives district wise” Mr. Masih said adding that an exhibition will also be exhibited in the train for the General Public about HIV/AIDS.
Sh Sahib Singh Youth Coordinator NYK Kurekshetara informed that he has identified 48 villages where programmes will be held, He added that the train will halt at Railway Station of above said districts while extending invitation to the community to make this campaign a grand success.
The broad objectives of the RRE are to provide communication and service package to rural population and reach the un-reached areas. The project is intended to enhance the level of accurate knowledge of people, especially the youth about HIV/AIDS; build an enabling environment that result in people seeking health services; and information required to promote safe behavior. It is to intimate behavior change through communication, link with services and address youth and feminization of the epidemic.
Mr. Masih 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.
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. Masih 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 is also discussed in detail. for the effective implementation programme with Distt. Youth Coordinators Sh K P S Gill Ambala, Sh Sahib Singh Kurukshetra, Sh Pardeep Kumar Jind, Mrs Madhu Chaudhary Rohtak and Bhiwani, Sh Narender Yadav Hissar, Sh S P Kaushik Rewari who were present in the meeting and Sh. S N Sharma, DD, NYKS interacted with Distt. Youth Coordinators.