An old joke has it that exactly nine months after Valentine’s Day, February 14 is Children’s Day, September14! To ensure that the joke remains one, February 14 is also being celebrated as the International Condom Day. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), an international NGO will mark February 14 with free condom distribution and safe sex awareness drives in 32 cities across the world, including Delhi.
On Saturday, the Indian wing of AHF distributed free condoms on GB Road, Khayala Road and in Madanpur Khader Phase-III to sex-workers who are at the highest risk of contracting HIV. “It is the day of love and we want people to have safe sex,” says Mohammad Dilshad of AHF.
Manre, the fine-dining restaurant in Saket, too, will have bowls full of condoms placed in restrooms and at the reception, though the owners are unaware of the new name of the day. “V-Day is associated with sex. This is our attempt, along with the UNAIDS, to educate our clientele about safe sex,” says Laurent Guiraud, general manager, Manre.
However, other bars and restaurants in the city are neither aware of the day’s new significance, nor keen on replicating it. “We are not a condom retail shop. You can’t create awareness like this,” says Kamal Arora, entertainment head, The Sports Bar, Noida and Gurgaon.
Some even doubt the intentions behind the move. “This is vulgarity being promoted in the name of V-Day. We protest this,” said Surendra Jain of Vishwa Hindu Parishad.