CHENNAI: Passengers of the Lokmanya Tilak Karaikal Express at Chennai Egmore on Sunday morning were greeted by a group of schoolchildren wearing red ribbons and carrying banners.
The children and a group of volunteers of the Indian Development Foundation were taking part in an AIDS awareness programme ahead of World AIDS Day on Monday. “We do this every year at Chennai Central. This year, we chose Egmore. What better place to do it than a terminal station,” said S Sreeram, who was leading the participants from the Indian Development Foundation, at the railway station.
Children of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Tambaram carried placards detailing about the HIV virus. The posters also explained how the virus spreads and what would not cause the virus to spread.
“It is a stigmatised disease. It is not spoken about as normally as, may be diabetes. We hope its spread can be curtailed by awareness drives like these,” Sreeram said.
According to WHO statistics provided by him, around 78 million people had been affected by AIDS so far, out of which half had succumbed. In India, National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) statistics showed that 20.89 lakh people had been affected by AIDS till 2012.