Red Ribbon Express draws crowds

Staff Reporter

Minister who inaugurates the campaign is also impressed

Some 73 villages are covered by the troupes

KHAMMAM: The seven-coach Red Ribbon Express (RRE) which reached the coal town of Kothagudem carrying the HIV/AIDS prevention message, could arouse considerable curiosity and draw crowds in a big way for three days. Despite scorching heat, thousands of people including a large number of children made a beeline to the train. It has three exhibition coaches, an auditorium and a pantry car.

The first coach which had education material on display could attract the people with its interactive touch screens and 3-D models. Minister for Vaidya Vidhana Parishad Vanama Venkateswar Rao who inaugurated the campaign was also impressed with the models. Artiste campaigners from 48 cultural troupes came with the train, branched out into the village in a caravan of buses and bicycles.

Some 73 villages were covered by the troupes during their three-day stay in the town.

The train which will travel across the country covering 180 districts and 43,200 villages, with a broad-based multi media, multi sectoral mass mobilization project, was flagged off by the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi on December 1 2007. The whole campaign was aimed at promoting safe behavioural practices.

Many youths and couples took part in counselling session organised in the train. A separate coach was earmarked for counselling-cum-medical service. The Red Ribbon Express project has been working basically towards the objective of achieving break in the silence around HIV and initiating behavioural change though communication, he added.

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