Staff Reporter

Seven-coach train will be stationed in the city on June 17 and 18

MADURAI: The Red Ribbon Express, which is on a mission of spreading awareness of HIV/AIDS, will be in the city on June 17 and 18 on the third platform of railway junction.

Addressing a meeting to review arrangements made for the arrival of Red Ribbon Express here recently, Collector S. S. Jawahar said that students, self-help groups, employees and the public would participate in the inaugural function to be held on June 17. A cycle rally would be organised in 48 villages in the district.

The rally would pass through six routes reaching out to three villages in each route. Similarly, awareness programmes would be organised at 10 a.m. and 12 noon in educational institutions on those days.

The seven-coach express began its campaign in Katpadi on May 27. It would end its first campaign on July 26 by traversing through Arakkonam, Chennai, Chengalpet, Villupuram, Puducherry, Virudhdhachalam, Tiruchi, Karur, Dindigul, Madurai, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Nagercoil and Kanyakumari.

Next stage

The second stage of the campaign would start on August 12 in Coimbatore and pass through Erode and Salem before halting at Jolarpet on August 18.

The campaign is organised by National AIDS Control Organisation, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and State AIDS Control Society aiming at spreading awareness of AIDS and promoting behaviour changes and safe practices, besides fighting against the stigma and discrimination.

The United Progressive Alliance Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, flagged off the express in New Delhi on December 1, 2007.

The express would travel 9,000 kilometres in 360 days in 24 States across the nation and halt at 180 important cities before reaching Delhi on December 1, 2008.