Sonia Gandhi to flag off AIDS awareness train Tuesday | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Sonia Gandhi to flag off AIDS awareness train Tuesday

United Progressive Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi will flag off a special AIDS awareness train - the Red Ribbon Express - from Delhi Dec 1, the World AIDS Day.

delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2009 21:05 IST

United Progressive Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi will flag off a special AIDS awareness train - the Red Ribbon Express - from Delhi Dec 1, the World AIDS Day.

According to the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Gandhi will flag off the multi-theme train to mobilise mass awareness across 22 states of the country before it returns to the national capital. The train will stop at 152 stations during its year-long journey.

Voluntary workers will go around the nearby locations to counsel people about HIV and AIDS when the train stops in the selected stations. There will be counselling facility for people inside the train. The volunteers will also involve the local people and hold street plays to make villagers aware about the disease in areas where the incidence is high.

India has at least 2.5 million HIV positive people, including over 80,000 children below the age of 15.

Besides Gandhi, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will be present at the Safdarjung railway station at the train flagging ceremony.

In 2007 also, a red ribbon express was flagged off and concluded its journey after traversing the country. According to NACO, the first experience was a great success and they are repeating it with the help from the railway ministry.