SSACS multimedia campaign on HIV/AIDS held at Gyalshing

Gangtok, 29 Mar:

Sikkim State AIDS Control Society, Gangtok [SSACS], conducted its Multi Media Campaign 2017-18 on 26 Mar at the Community Hall and Bazaar in Gyalshing, West Sikkim, informs a SSACS press release.

Chairperson of Gyalshing Municipal Council, IK Neopaney, attended the programme as chief guest along with Councillors of GMC, Director, Health Services cum SSACS Project Director, Dr Uttam Pradhan, Principal, teachers and students of various Red Ribbon Clubs [RRCs].

The programme had an array of activities which included presentation of a song on youth empowerment by RRC Langang Secondary School, drama on HIV/AIDS and substance abuse by RRC Lingchom Senior Secondary School and Dasharthick Sangh, Gelling. Similarly, theme based sit & draw competition was also conducted for various schools & colleges.

The RRCs of West district also exhibited their materials on HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. The participating schools were RRC Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, RRC Lingchom Senior Secondary School, RRC Government College Gyalshing, RRC Langang Secondary School & RRC Pelling Senior Secondary School.

During the event, free HIV testing was also conducted by Mobile Integrated Counselling & Testing Centre [ICTC] from SSACS, Gangtok and ICTC team, District Hospital, Namchi wherein approximately 150 people were tested.

The daylong event concluded with prize and certificate distribution to the winners.

The evening session of the programme was attended by MLA, Yangthang Constituency, Chandra Maya Subba, as chief guest accompanied by Health Services cum Project Director, Dr Pradhan, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Gyalshing, Chief Medical Officers & Doctors from District Hospital, Gyalshing, District Project Officer, West, and Principals & teachers from various schools and colleges.

The main feature of the evening programme was a musical event by guest artist from Gangtok, Remanti Rai, wherein she performed theme based songs dedicated to those infected and affected by HIV. Other programmes included song presentations by RRC Langang SS and RRC Pelling SSS and a drama on HIV/AIDS by RRC Aarigaon Samaj Sudhar Mandali.

During the programme, RRC nodal teachers, Rajesh Thapa [Headmaster Langang SS], Ashish Pradhan [Pelling SSS] & TR Sharma [Lingchom SSS] and Kishore Baniya [RRC Coordinator South/West] were also felicitated by SSACS for their contribution in spreading awareness on HIV/AIDS through various mediums.

Chief guest, Ms Subba, in her address, appreciated the efforts of Sikkim SACS in conducting the multi media campaign in West Sikkim and also added that it is the responsibility of every individual to spread awareness on HIV and AIDS. She also assured full support and cooperation to the Society.

Director, Health Services cum SSACS Project Director, Dr Pradhan, informed that the campaign was envisaged by SSACS under the guidance of National AIDS Control Organization and was initiated in the State in 2010-11.

He informed that the main objective of the campaign was to create awareness on HIV/AIDS through various mediums like theatre, music, dance & sports, to enhance risk perception among youth and promote safe behaviour, to address issues around stigma and discrimination for people infected and affected with HIV and AIDS, to motivate different population groups to seek services like ICTC, Prevention of Parent-To-Child Transmission [PPTCT], Antiretroviral therapy [ART], Sexually Transmitted Infections [STI] and Opioid Substitution Therapy [OST], to highlight the importance of blood safety and increase awareness on the availability of ART and normalization of condoms.

He also thanked the District Administrative Centre, West Sikkim, Gyalshing Municipal Council and District Hospital Gyalshing for their cooperation in conducting the even