THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The HIV sensitisation programme for the prison officials held at Poojappura Central Prison on Saturday, was a touching occasion to remember.
Not only did the prison staff serve food to the prisoners, but they even dined with the prisoners, which was a rare sight, perhaps the first time in any of the prisons in Kerala. Among the prisoners were six HIV patients, all belonging to Poojappura Central Prison.
“The memory of dining together would have a lasting impact on them than the sensitisation programme itself. It was a deliberate attempt to create awareness that HIV patients and prisoners should not be isolated,” said Central Prison Superintendent B Pradeep.
It was as part of the second phase of the sensitisation programme that the prison officers including Superintendents of Poojappura Central Prison and Nettukaltheri Open Prison had lunch with prisoners. The officials from various prisons of the district, including Attingal Sub Jail, Thiruvananthapuram District Prison, Attakulangara Women’s Prison and Nettukaltheri Open prison, participated in the programme. Though the programme is conducted every year it was for the first time that such an initiative was made. The programme was conducted under the initiative of Integrated Counselling Training Centre functioning in all Central Prisons and a few other prisons. Its aim is to sensitise and make the prison officials aware of public health issues and conducted as per the guidelines of Kerala State Aids Control Society (KSACS). Adolescence Reproductive and Sexual Health state nodal officer Amar S Fettle, delivered the key- note address. KSACS ‘Suraksha’ project manager, Sobha Mathew presented the topic. B Pradeep presided over the function.