An awareness rally was conducted in the beach here in connection with the arrival of the Red Ribbon Express train to spread awareness on HIV\AIDS and communicable diseases. The rally was flagged off by Additional District Magistrate K.P. Thampy. District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr.K.M.Sirabuddin and mass media officer, Ramiya Beegum were among those who participated in the flagging off ceremony of the rally.

The bus caravan, rolled out in connection with the arrival of the train, will tour different places in the district on May 1 and 2, Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK) district coordinator Jain George said. The caravan starting from Mannancherry bus stand at 10 a.m. on May 1 will reach Pathirappally Junction. It will be at Cherthala KSRTC stand by 2 p.m. and at Ambalam Junction at Thuravur by 4 p.m.

The next day, it will resume its journey from Karoor beach at 10 a.m., reaching Edathua junction at 12 noon. It will halt at Mannar Store Junction at 2 p.m. and will conclude its journey at Vellavur junction in Chengannur by 4 p.m.

Public meeting

Union Minister of State for Power K.C.Venugopal will inaugurate the public meeting in connection with the arrival of the Red Ribbon Express, at the sixth platform of the Alappuzha railway station at 9 a.m. on May 1. G.Sudhakaran, MLA, will preside over. Alappuzha district panchayat president U. Pratibha Hari will deliver the key note address. Municipality chairperson Mercy Diana Macido, District Superintendent of Police K.G.James, ADM Mr.Thampy, and DMO Mr. Sirabuddin will be among those participating in the public meeting.

The train will halt at the station on May 1 and 2. The entry to the train is free of cost. The eight coaches of the train will have exhibition of education materials related to HIV-AIDS, communicable diseases, public health and also training for members of local bodies and other persons. Free HIV test facilities will be arranged at the platform. The bus and boats, under the initiative of NYK, will spread the message on HIV-AIDS in places in the district where the train could not reach.

Various cultural programmes will be performed by Excise and Police Departments, and nursing schools. Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, district administration, health department, State AIDS Control Society, NYK and NGOs are also associating with the programme.

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