More than 8,000 people visited the city railway station to see the 'Red Ribbon Express' that chugged into the city on Monday to create awareness about HIV/AIDS.
Schoolchildren, health workers, teachers and city residents, took a tour of the eight-coach train that will be in the city
Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria welcomed the train and flagged off buses, which will now raise awareness about various communicable diseases in rural areas of the district.
Punjab State Aids Control Society additional director NM Sharma said the train, during its tour of Punjab till January 1, would cover eight districts in the state.
Street plays on the subject of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases, were also staged on the occasion.
Speaking to mediapersons, district programme officer for HIV/AIDS Dr Uggar Singh Sooch said there were 24 lakh HIV-positive people in India. "The first case was reported from Chennai in 1986," he said, adding more than 200 were tested for HIV on Monday..
Students from several city schools also visited the railway station and were told about the prevention and causes of HIV/AIDS. The students and their teachers played videogames on the subject. Besides, many of them also pledged to say 'No to Drugs'.
A Class 10 student, Nipun, said the activities that were organised for the students were enjoyable and informative. "Besides, the knowledge I gainer here will help me in my exams, too."
Vijay Sharma, a teacher of a government school in Jawahar Nagar Camp, said five students of the school also donated blood during their visit to the railway station.
How HIV is transmitted
Unprotected sexual Intercourse
Transfusion of blood and blood products
Needle exchange during intravenous drug use
Sharing syringes and needles
HIV/AIDS infected mother to her child during pregnancy, delivery or after delivery
How HIV is not transmitted
Air or water
Hugging, shaking hands, sitting together
Sharing pens, toilets, clothes, soap