The Red Ribbon Express, an exhibition train on HIV/AIDS, has been scheduled to halt at eight districts of the state in order to create AIDS awareness.
Dr Harinder Bir, main streaming consultant, Punjab Aids Control Society (PACS), said the train focusing on the youth would halt at eight stations -- Nangal, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Faridkot, Fazilka, Tarn Taran, Amritsar and Rupnagar.
"The train, decked up with banners, posters, audio-visual clips and volunteer talks will start from Nangal on December 15 and will culminate in Amritsar on January 1. The multimedia-equipped train will halt at every station for two days except at Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Fazilka, where it will halt for three days," she said.
The train is on the move across the country to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS for the third year under the ministry of health and family welfare and National Rural Health Mission (NHRM).
The state health authorities will launch awareness campaigns to encourage people to visit the train.
She said, "Mass campaigns through nukad naatak, especially in rural areas, will be conducted on five days in every region, asking people to visit the train. Workshops, Doordarshan, radio, cinema slides, railways station announcements, mobilised information, and education and communication vans will promote the campaign and encourage people to visit the train."
She said the volunteers in vans would also inform people about the symptoms and prevention of HIV/AIDS. She said district education officers had been asked to take senior secondary school students to see the train.
Dr Harinder said the train had four exhibition coaches with exhibits on HIV/AIDS and NHRM.
"The eight-coach train would comprise first three coaches containing information on HIV/AIDS, while the fourth coach would give information on NHRM exhibits on tuberculosis, malaria, reproductive and child health services and general diseases."
She said the fifth coach would provide training to people in batches of 60 and five batches would be covered in a day. The training session would be held even with stakeholders, including Asha workers, ANMs, Nehru Youth Kendra workers, self-help groups and other health workers.
To provide training to the people, special teams of volunteers including doctors, NSS officials, NGOs had been prepared.
"Coach No 6 will have counselling sessions and HIV testing services wherein two doctors, counsellors and lab technicians would be there, who would inform people about sexually-transmitted diseases. Coaches No 7 and 8 will be for officials."
She said the other attraction would be taped versions ongoing inside the train disseminating information on HIV/AIDS and other diseases. The train timing will be from 9.30am to 5pm.