Lotus Temple and Akshardham will be among some of Delhi's iconic landmarks to be lit blue one the eve of World Diabetes Day on November 14. A blue circle is the universal symbol of diabetes, like the red ribbon for AIDS.
The Diabetes Blue Fortnight makes India a part of the global movement that led to 660 iconic monuments in 72 countries being illuminated blue for diabetes awareness in 2009.
Among the landmarks that went blue last year were London Eye, Place de la Concorde in Paris and Sydney Opera House.
“Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad wants to make diabetes a talking point to encourage people to prevent and manage diabetes and has written to all states and the Archeological Survey of India to participate," said BK Prasad, joint secretary, ministry of health.
The event is being supported by NGOs such as HEAL, Vision Mission Foundation and Project HOPE in a run-up to the Child Health Congress in Delhi on November 14.
Azad has also approved a programme to screen the rural population above 30 years and all pregnant women irrespective of age in 100 districts in 21 states.
“Under the programme, health workers will screen people for blood sugar levels and blood pressure and
the ones with unhealthy readings will be referred to government hospitals for further check-ups and treatment,” said Prasad.
Delhi will kickstart a similar national initiative next month for screening the slum population for diabetes and high blood pressure in 33 cities with a population above 12 lakh.
India has 50.7 million diabetics. The number is expected to touch 79 million by 2030.