ITANAGAR, 1 Dec: Dera Natung Government College (DNGC) here observed the World AIDS Day on Friday with a programme organised by the college’s NSS unit and Red Ribbon Club.
An essay writing competition, a drama, and an awareness session were conducted to disseminate awareness on HIV/AIDS.
NSS Programme Officer Dr Chello Lima highlighted the reasons for observing the World AIDS Day. She motivated the students to “break down the barriers, challenge discrimination, and support communities leading the way to end AIDS.”
DNGC Principal Dr MQ Khan also encouraged the students to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS through social media platforms.
Red Ribbon Club peer educator Lod Yebi presented a brief on the causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
NSS volunteers staged a drama on how the HIV/AIDS virus is transmitted and the trauma that an infected person and their family members undergo.
More than 150 students from various departments took part in the competition and attended the awareness session.
In Changlang district, Health Minister Alo Libang stressed on community participation to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Addressing the World AIDS Day programme there on Friday, Libang emphasised on “the communities’ leadership roles to stop and control HIV.”
Stating that youths are the backbone of the nation, he said that “disciplined youths can ensure the growth of the nation.”
Libang said also that “a healthy body is crucial to produce healthy citizens with a healthy mind.”
Commending the Arunachal Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) for observing the World AIDS Day in Jairampur, the minister said that “this is an effort on the part of the government to reach out to the people in the districts.”
Nampong MLA Laisam Simai advised the youths to stay away from the evils of drug addiction, alcoholism, smoking and chewing of tobacco. Simai, who himself is a teetotaler, said that “such addictions may lead to HIV infection and will bring misery not only to the addicts but to the entire family.”
He said that HIV can be prevented with proper knowledge and practice.
APSACS Project Director Dr Marbom Basar said that “the world can end AIDS with communities leading the way.”
“Organisations of communities living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV, are the frontline of progress in the HIV response,” he said.
Changlang DMO Dr RC Roy said that “everyone has a crucial role to play in taking forward the fight against HIV/AIDS,” while APSACS Joint Director Tashor Pali highlighted the need to generate more awareness among the youths to halt further spread of HIV.
“There is no vaccine for HIV, and there is no definite cure also. Knowledge is the only vaccine against HIV,” he added.
District AIDS Control Officer Dr Mossang said that “HIV can be prevented with proper knowledge.”
The president of the District Level Network of Positive People from Namsai, who attended the programme as the ‘positive speaker’, said that “drug addiction and indiscipline will ultimately lead to HIV infections.”
“Be high on your studies, be high on sports, be high on your family, but don’t get high on drugs and alcohol,” he said.
Earlier, Libang and Simai flagged off an awareness rally, which saw the participation of more than 1,000 people, including students from different schools of Jairampur, NGO volunteers, members of CBOs, and the general public.
The programme was organised by the APSACS, in collaboration with the Changlang DACO.
In Tirap district, the day was observed at Care Me Home De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centre in Charju by the District AIDS Control Society, in collaboration with Care Me Home.
The NSS unit of Deomali-based WR Govt College (WRGC) also observed the World AIDS Day.
Speaking on the occasion, ADC Vishakha Yadav urged the people to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS to contain the spread of the virus.
District AIDS Control Officer Dr Jayanti Thingnok spoke on the importance of observing the day and appealed to everyone to “be empathetic towards persons living with HIV/AIDS.”
WRGC Principal (i/c) Chayon Bangyang emphasised on the role of NSS volunteers in spreading awareness on HIV/AIDS. “The rise in drug abuse cases in Tirap is a hindrance for the healthy growth of the society,” he added.
Deomali ZPM Wangphoon Lowang and the college’s NSS Programme Officer Ngamwang Lowang also spoke. (With input from DIPRO)
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