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Red Ribbon Express will reach Dindigul on June 15

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Staff Reporter

To be at railway station till June 17

Teams to campaign on AIDS

They will cover 48 villages

DINDIGUL: Red Ribbon Express that spreads awareness of HIV, promotes safe behavioural practices and fights discrimination against AIDS, will reach Dindigul on June 15 and halt at Dindigul railway station till June 17.

Special teams in the train will go to interior villages in the district and campaign on AIDS during their stay, according to Collector R. Vasuki.

She was presiding over a special meeting in this connection at the Collectorate here on Tuesday.

The train would provide a complete communication, counselling, treatment and care package to target population, particularly in rural areas focussing on youth and other vulnerable groups, she added. Six performing teams, each comprising 10 members, would disembark from the train and visit 48 villages in two days to stage plays and skits on HIV infection and fighting AIDS stigma and discrimination. Another group of young campaigners would cover distant places.

The train has seven coaches, including three exhibition coaches with educational materials, one for conference and auditorium, next coach for counselling and medical services and another for cultural performers’ sleeper coach and the last one administrative coach.

Education sessions for anganwadi workers, self-help groups, youth and women would be done throughout the day in the auditorium coach. Counselling and medical services including tests would be done in medical services coach.

The campaign would be on-platform and off-site communication activities for wider outreach. Exhibition, cultural performances, media interactions on preventive measures would be some of the on-platform activities, Ms. Vasuki said.

The train would enter Tamil Nadu through Chennai on June 1. It will tour several districts in 28 days. The main objective was to dispel myths about AIDS that lead to stigma and discrimination and to instil confidence in the minds of AIDS patients that they could also lead a life with confidence under proper medical care, she added.

The train would leave for Madurai on June 17 and stop till June 19. The train would touch Tuticorin on June 19, Tirunelveli on June 21, Nagercoil on June 23 and Kanniyakumari on June 25.

The train enters Kerala through Trivandrum on June 28. Now, the express is in Guntur railway station in Andhra Pradesh.

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