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Cricket sympathises with AIDS patients

Indian and England players spread the message of the deadly disease by sporting red arm bands during the fourth ODI on Thursday.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 16:42 IST

Expressing solidarity with HIV/AIDs patients, Indian and England cricket players  sported red arm bands during the fourth one-dayer on Thursday.

Capitalising on the huge popularity of the game, Kerala Aids Control Society (KSACS) used the match to spread the message of the deadly disease which has claimed several lives the world over.

When Indian captain Rahul Dravid and England captain Andrew Flintoff went for the toss this morning, they were accompanied by two young girls -- Vidya (13) and Chitra (8), who are HIV positive.

Dravid spoke a few words to them and as the two captains walked away from the ground after the toss, which England won, they did not forget to pat and wave the girls goodbye.

During the lunch break, anti-HIV/AIDS theme songs were played at the Stadium.

KSACS Programme Officer Ajay Kumar said the aim of the programme was to push the message to treat HIV postive and Aids victims with kindness and dignity, to avoid the stigma and discrimination attached to the disease and to provide care to affected children.

Kerala has about one lakh HIV positive people and 2003 AIDs patients are taking Anti-Retroviral drugs from the state system. The stigma attached to the disease is so huge that HIV postive children find it difficult to get admissions in schools.

The programme was coordinated with the help of the Kerala Cricket Association.