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Tata Steel Observes World AIDS Day

Jamshedpur, December 01, 2004

Tata Steel’s Core Group – AIDS, observed AIDS Day today with the theme “Women, Girls & AIDS”. The need to observe World AIDS Day comes in the wake of discrimination and rejection due to the stigma of those testing positive. The only way to combat this deadly disease is to create awareness and prevention among the people especially school and college going girl students. With a mission to spreading enough awareness on AIDS among the girls, the theme of World AIDS Day 2004 is “Women, Girls and AIDS”.

To address the situation, Tata Steel’s Core Group – AIDS organised a float, which was flagged off from Tata Main Hospital main gate at 8 .00 AM by Mr. A. N. Singh, Dy Managing Director (CS) and Chairman, Core Group – AIDS today. The float had a music band for live music with parody songs on HIV/AIDS, popcorn and candyfloss vendors, nukkad natak team and an expert team comprising of Dr. Manoj Prasad, Dr. P. C. Mahapatra, Ms. Anamika Sarma, Ms. Rachel Bonnerjee, & Dr. H. K. Gardin of Core Group – AIDS, Tata Steel.

The float visited numerous schools and the Jamshedpur Women’s College to sensitise the students. This was significant as more than 50% of those infected with HIV in the world are in the age group of 15 to 24 years. The float displayed pictorial information on AIDS and Tata Steel’s policy on HIV/AIDS. Besides, a signature campaign was also carried out which will be later presented to His Excellency The President of India Dr. A. P. J. Kalam as a pledge for responsible behaviour by the youth of Jamshedpur. During the day the float went to Loyola School, Beldih Church School, Sacred Heart School, Rajendra Vidyalaya, Motilal Nehru Public School, Dayanand Public School and Jamshedpur Women’s College. At each halt, there was an interactive session and quiz with the students. A jeep with a question box followed the float for students to drop their questions with phone numbers. The questions will be answered through the helpline. More than five hundred students at each school took part in this awareness drive.

Every year Tata Steel’s Core Group – AIDS observes World AIDS Day and the week preceding it with activities in support of HIV+ people. This year also from November 22 to 27, 2004, training and sensitisation workshops for doctors, paramedics and grassroots healthcare workers was conducted with the help of facilitators from Bhoruka Public Welfare Trust, Kolkata. This capacity building workshop on HIV/AIDS aimed at increasing the knowledge of doctors and healthcare workers, sensitising those who take care of the HIV/AIDS affected and Promoting PPTCT (Preventing Parent To Child Transmission) interventions.

Apart from this, departments such as Social Services and Family Initiatives and Community Development and Social Work, also organised various programmes on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention in and around Jamshedpur.