AIDS awareness through street plays

Staff Correspondent

They were presented by students of JSS Nursing College

MYSORE: With a view to spreading awareness on the modes of transmission of HIV, a retrovirus that causes AIDS, a group of students from JSS Nursing College, Mysore, staged street plays at four different places in the city on Wednesday.

They enacted real-life situations during which people should take precautionary measures against contracting the dreaded virus that lead to AIDS, a condition in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening infections.

The threat of the dreaded virus looming large over unsafe sex practices and use of drugs through injections was creatively presented before the crowd. A student dressed up to resemble a "skeleton" symbolised the fatal virus. Through the street play, the artistes sought to educate the onlookers on the need to use condoms and keep a safe distance from the use of drugs. The "skeleton" hovered around a barber's shop and a blood transfusion centre. A customer at the barber's shop was shown insisting that a fresh shaving blade be used for him.

The fatality of blood transfusion owing to contaminated needles and other equipment or failure to conduct preliminary tests were also conveyed to the onlookers.

Four such street plays were held in Mysore on Wednesday. The inauguration of the series of street plays was conducted at Agrahara Circle in the city. It was followed up with street-plays near the Dufferin Clock Tower at Devaraja Market, Gandhi Square and KSRTC Bus at Bannimantap.

Vice-principal of JSS Medical College and paediatrician M.D. Ravi, who presided over the inaugural presentation, told The Hindu that the street plays were part of the week-long AIDS awareness programme taken up by the students of the nursing college.

"Similar street plays were held in rural areas during the week. They create an impact on the mind of the onlookers and help spread the awareness of AIDS," he said.

Editor of Andolana Rajashekar Koti; Director of JSS Institutions of Health Sciences, Mysore, M.S. Anantharaju; and Pramod from Ashakiran Hospital were present.