World AIDS Day awareness rally was taken out in Madurai

A massive rally in the city saw students from various schools, colleges and nursing institutions carrying placards and with their faces painted in red and white colours so as to create awareness on AIDS here on Saturday.

The World AIDS Day awareness rally themes highlighted points like showing compassion towards people affected and living with AIDS and not to discriminate them but to treat them equally as fellow citizens.

District Collector Anshul Mishra, flagged off the rally which started at the Collectorate and passed via Anna Nagar, KK Nagar and culminated at Youth Welfare Hostel near Race Course. The event was organised by District Aids Prevention and Control Unit.

Students from Lady Doak College, Fatima College, American College, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Nursing and various non-governmental organisations participated in the event.

The Collector participating in the meeting at the Youth Welfare Centre and gave away welfare scheme assistance worth Rs. 3.41 lakh to persons affected by HIV.

On the occasion of AIDS Day various competitions were held for students affected by HIV and the winners of those were given prizes and certificates.

Information, education and communication activities have taken awareness about AIDS to the common man through the social welfare department and media.

To provide confidence to the HIV infected and to improve their livelihood by providing opportunities to them in small industries and trade, training has been provided to them on making washing soap, soap powder, palm products and maintaining nursery plants.

AIDS patients were given free medicines and their children were given Rs.100 every month by the State government under small savings scheme and efforts are also being made to help talented people among the patients to procure bank loan to start a small business.

Apart from all this, under the Chief Minister’s Farmers Protection Scheme if the patient is found to be a farmer, he would be given a farmer card and will be made eligible to get a permanent assistance of Rs.1, 000 every month, said, the Collector.

For the first time

He also said that it was for the first time that the district administration had purchased stationery items from the people afflicted with HIV. Two months back, some 100 people were called for orientation programme. Out of those, 30 persons were selected and imparted training to make envelopes, hand bags among other fancy products. As many as 12 persons from the trained group had formed a self-help-group (SHG) to sell their commodities. The district administration had even earmarked space for them in the “Poomalai” shopping complex near Anna Bus stand.

Mr. Anshul Mishra said, “I have made an appeal to all the departments in the Collector’s office to encourage the SHG by placing orders for their needs as it would give them the much needed morale and self-confidence.”

Arumugam, District Revenue Officer, S. Senthil Kumar, Deputy Director, Health Services, M. Kalirajan, project officer, Tamil Nadu Aids Control Society, Madurai, and K. Jawahar, district youth coordinator, Nehru Yuva Kendra participated in the event.

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