State profiles

Where we work

New Delhi

Assam

Andhra Pradesh

Bihar

Chhattisgarh

Gujarat

Jharkhand

Madhya Pradesh

Karnataka

Maharashtra

Orissa

Rajasthan

Tamil Nadu

Uttar Pradesh

West Bengal

 

The UP Red Ribbon Road Express takes off

Anjali Singh

It was a star studded evening for a social cause and AIDS awareness got a fillip with singers and comedians getting together with Lucknowites to express their concern at a musical evening organized at Ravindralaya auditorium in Charbagh on January 30.

Called  “CEAT Red Ribbon Road Express” the programme, also supported by Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (UPSACS),  BIG FM, and UNICEF in collaboration with Gram Uthan a local NGO was a launch event of three AIDS and HIV awareness vehicles to  be flagged off on February 5. The vehicles would visit districts in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Uttarakhand spreading awareness about AIDS, making 400 halts in 90 districts over a period of 30 days.

The launch evening had  celebrities like Vinod Rathore well known singer from Bollywood, Rupa Basu of Indian Idol fame, Ranjan Srivastava, Laughter Challenge contestant from Kanpur and Vineet Raghuvanshi, winner of Close Up Antakshari - a reality show on the small screen, all crooning for the public and also educating them about HIV/AIDS.

The launch evening had  celebrities like Vinod Rathore well known singer from Bollywood, Rupa Basu of Indian Idol fame, Ranjan Srivastava, Laughter Challenge contestant from Kanpur and Vineet Raghuvanshi, winner of Close Up Antakshari - a reality show on the small screen, all crooning for the public and also educating them about HIV/AIDS.
Expressing his delight at being part of an event associated with a meaningful social cause Vinod Rathore who was the star of the evening said,"It is an honour for me to be part of such an event. I always wanted to do my bit for society and this is my chance. As a star I am aware of my social responsibilities but due to our busy schedule I  can't get involved as frequently as I would like so such events are important as they help me do my bit."

The high point of the show were underprivileged children from around colonies in Gudumba and Munshipulia who were the true celebrities of the evening. They participated in an art competition where they sketched their dreams and aspirations, but what really showcased their talent was the entertainment show they themselves performed for the audience.

Said 12 year old Rukhsana, daughter of a daily wage earner who sang a qawalli, "I really enjoyed myself at this function. We don't get many chances like this to perform and show our talent so today was very special for me."

Three-year-old Khushi whose father is a house painter was equally thrilled getting on stage and singing her favourite rhymes. "I know many songs but did not know where to sing them today - I got a chance and I sang them all," she gushed excitedly.

A unique approach to educate, inform and sensitize people about HIV/ AIDS and at the same time also help in mainstreaming the underprivileged the evening was a huge success.

Says Ashish Awasthi, human rights activist and founder of the Rickshaw Mazdoor Union, "We brought 50 children from Gudumba and 50 from Munshipulia, all of whom belong to the urban unorganized sectors, for the show. The aim of such an event is to ensure a weekly interaction with such sections of the society to bridge the gap and provide them education and exposure. Through such forums we also address the issues of child rights and educate these people about their rights."

Mukul Bhartee, whose event management company Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai managed the show said  "Just talking of creating awareness about AIDS is not enough we have to make a big splash, so this event is just that. This is a 30 day journey under which 71 districts in UP and 19 districts in Uttrakhand will be covered by three vehicles of the Red Ribbon Road Express. The crew will consist of a Nukad Natak (street show) team and a person in charge of advocacy who will be trained by UPSACS. The two segments that will be focused upon will be dhabas (roadside restaurants) and truck drivers who will be educated and informed about the risks of HIV/AIDS. Apart from that other hot spots will also be targeted and youth in colleges etc. will also be sensitised. The float will also have a condom vending machine and people will be told about the benefits of using it."

Terming the initiative a part of their corporate social responsibility, CEAT’s Zonal Branch Manager Ankur Prakash Sharma said, "We understand our responsibility towards our customers a big chunk of which are truck drivers. Owing to the fact that they are a part of the vulnerable population when it comes to HIV/AIDS, CEAT decided to conduct a programme aimed at creating awareness for the general public about the risks and hazards of the disease. The Red Ribbon Express is part of many such programmes we plan to do to live up to our social responsibility."

For more such stories, please subscribe to our RSS Feed.

 

 

For every child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection
ADVANCE HUMANITY