SALEM: The Red Ribbon Express that arrived at the Town Railway Station here on Tuesday has evoked a good response, as a large number of school and college students, self-help group members and people from different parts of the district turned up to visit the exhibition coaches.
The express, a specially-designed train flagged off to create awareness among people about HIV/AIDS, promote safe behavioural practises and fight the stigma and discrimination against AIDS, will be in Salem till July 16.
Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam inaugurated the exhibition.
The express has three coaches displaying educational materials, one kept for interactive orientation and discussion for select groups such as elected representatives of local bodies, anganwadi workers and SHG members, and one for counselling and providing medical services.
Doctors, paramedics and volunteers on board educate the visitors, give counselling and extend medical services.
The artistes, who came in the train, performed cultural programmes in the nearby villages.
Similar programmes would be held on July 16 also. The Mobile Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres also visited various villages in the district.
The train was flagged off on World AIDS Day on December 1, 2007 from New Delhi by United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The project is a joint effort of National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Indian Railways and UNICEF. Over 1.40 lakh people had visited the train in Tamil Nadu so far, officials said.
Collector N. Mathivanan, Mayor J. Rekha Priyadarshini and senior officials were present.