Prominent landmarks of Delhi -- Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Old Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun Tomb – as also Fortis Hospitals across Delhi and NCR, Metro Bhawan and NDMC Building will be lit up in spectacular blue lighting at 6-30 p.m. this Sunday in an attempt to help Delhiites become aware of the dangers of diabetes. The event has been organised on the eve of World Diabetes Day which is observed on November 14.

“The lighting up of these monuments in Delhi is part of the ‘Diabetes Blue Monument Lighting Challenge' where for the first time maximum monuments will be lit up in any country across the world to create awareness about diabetes. The event will be followed by a seminar on the problems relating to diabetes. The event is being organised by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with several private partners,” said a release issued by the organisers.

The event assumes significance as in the country currently over five crore people suffer from diabetes and out of these as many as 33 per cent are said to be present in the NCR of Delhi itself. Incidentally, this figure is expected to rise rapidly given the lack of awareness about the disease in the country.

“India will turn blue on November 13, the eve of World Diabetes Day when major monuments across cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore will be illuminated in blue. ‘Diabetes Blue Monument Lighting Challenge' will be one of the main activities of Abbott Diabetes Blue Fortnight 2011, (ADBF 2011), India's biggest campaign to raise awareness on a disease that affects several thousands around the world every year. The need of the hour is to spread awareness around this disease,” said HEAL Foundation principal consultant Swadeep Srivastava.

“What we are trying to do here is to create more buzz with such activities by involving more stakeholders,” he added.

World over, countries in association with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) organise a string of awareness campaigns, including illuminating iconic monuments on the eve of the World Diabetes Day.

“The blue theme will encourage people to come together to help in uniting people to fight diabetes and also to take timely measures to try and prevent it,” said Fortis Hospital Department Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases director and head Dr. Anoop Misra.

“Monuments illuminated in blue symbolise unity in the fight against diabetes, something akin to a blue sky uniting the world. Abbott Diabetes Blue fortnight is probably the first event based activity in India to focus on diabetes and aims to sensitise people on the urgency of this problem,” said All-India Institute of Medical Sciences' Centre for Community Medicine head of department Dr. C. S. Pandav.

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