‘Red Ribbon Train’ enters Ambala

Over 3 lakh people are suffering from HIV/ AIDS in India. Of these 40,000 patients are from Haryana.

This was stated by the Haryana Chief Parliamentary Secretary Ram Singh Fauji while addressing the people who had gathered at the Railway station Ambala Cantonment on arrival of the Red Ribbon Express here Monday. He said that of the 40,000 AIDS patients, 19,000 were under treatment at 148 ICTC Centres set up in the state for HIV tests and treatment.

He said the main objective of running the Red Ribbon train, was to create an environment free of stigma and discrimination faced by the people suffering from the dreaded disease. He said that specia l efforts were being made to mobilize the youth especially adolescents through the publicity literature and technical training provided in the train.

Fauji stressed the need to reduce discrimination against patients suffering from the disease. He said that the Red Ribbon train was first flagged off by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation with the cooperation of the Nehru Yuva Kendra in the year 2007. More than 15 crore people got information about the disease during the three phases of the journey of the train at 150 stations in 20 states and this time more than 10 crore people were likely to be covered by the train.

Haryana Health Director General Dr D P Lochan said that the Red Ribbon train entered Haryana and halted at Panipat for two days. Thereafter it halted at Kurukshetra from where it reached Ambala on Monday. It will enter Punjab covering eight stations. It will then enter Jammu and Kashmir on the conclusion of the third phase. He said that on return to Delhi, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation would organise a big show to evaluate its achievements.

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