A mega AIDS awareness oath taking-cum-cultural event with the participation of nearly 5,000 school and college students from more than 40 institutions in Perambalur district marked the World AIDS Day programme here recently.

Collector M. Vijayakumar inaugurated the mega event organised by the Perambalur district branch of the Indian Red Cross Society and Youth Peer Education Programme.

The event was organised with the main objective to reduce new infection among youth and stigma and discrimination among people, to create HIV/AIDS awareness among people and to create social responsibility among youth. The Collector who inaugurated the programme by unveiling the portrait of Jean Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross Movement, appreciated the services and activities rendered by the Indian Red Cross Society to create awareness on the dreaded AIDS disease.

After the school and college students took out a rally carrying placards and raised slogans creating awareness on the AIDS among the people, Collector Vijayakumar along with the students took oath. A large number of students formed the ‘AIDS logo’ in the ground by carrying balloons.

Later, the students presented cultural events on AIDS awareness. For colleges, the first prize was bagged by Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan Teacher Training Institute, second prize by Roever Nursing College and third prize by Thanthai Hans Roever College of Arts and Science.

For schools, the first prize was won by Eva Mary Koch Girls Higher Secondary School, second prize by Thanthai Hans Roever Boys Higher Secondary School and third prize by the Dominic Higher Secondary School. The Collector distributed the prizes to the winners in the presence of M. Thangaraj and I. Cicil Ignatius, honorary vice-president and secretary respectively of the Indian Red Cross Society, Perambalur.