New Delhi: Buoyed by the success of the
first two phases of the Red Ribbon Express, the government
on Thursday launched the third HIV awareness train which will
traverse across the country.
The initiative, which was started in 2007 by the Railway
Ministry, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), National AIDS
Control Programme (NACO) with support from other Ministries,
has reached nearly 14 million people in the earlier phases.
Flagging off the Express on the National Youth Day, Delhi
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the train would help people
affected by AIDS fight the disease and educate others with
knowledge on the subject.
Inspired by the Jeevan Rekha Express, a mobile hospital
train, the Red Ribbon Express (RRE) comprises of seven coaches
including three exhibition coaches on HIV counselling and four
coaches on NRHM.
"The renewed focus of the train this time is on youth.
Sexual health information and counselling would be provided to
youngsters," Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said after
taking a tour of exhibition train at the Safdarjung railway
He said the efforts of India, China and South Africa in
their fight against AIDS was appreciated by the United Nations
in a convention in June, 2010.
Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi said in 2009, during the
second phase, the train had reached 8 million people after
covering 152 stations in 22 states and 36,000 people were
tested for HIV.
MoS for Health and Family Welfare S Gandhiselvan was also
present at the inaugural function of the Express.