“WHICH DRIVER does not drive a truck?” or “Who carries a photo of his wife in his valet?” Well, if you are a truck driver and answer these simple questions at the ‘Truckers Festival’, you would end up getting a gift. By the way, the answer to the first question is a screwdriver (sending the message not to screw up your life the wrong way) and to second question is driver Santa Singh (name changed), who is loyal to his wife, as he does not want to get HIV/AIDS infection.
Welcome to a festival with difference!! Hooting and throwing off their mufflers in appreciation on a chilly night at Niranjanpur Road on Dewas Naka at the ‘Truckers’ Festival’, more than 1500 truck drivers, cleaners, helpers and also many persons from the nearby areas enjoyed dance, drama and other activities organised mainly to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS.
The orchestra was interspersed with quiz (with simple questions as mentioned above), two dramas on the theme and dance and songs presented by a local group. The venue was overflowing with audience with many of them perched atop their trucks, which were parked by the side of the pandal.
The entertainment programme was organised on Friday night by TCI Foundation, NGO Bhartiya Grameen Mahila Sangh and Indore Truck Operators and Transporters Association (ITOTA) as part of their ‘Kavach’ project for the truckers. Khushi clinics for serving and helping the truckers’ community are already being run since last two years by the NGO under the project.
“We have been organising such entertainment programme for last two years. This is one of the ways to spread awareness on serious issues in a lighter, friendly manner,” according to project coordinator Subodh Karnik.
CMHO Dr K K Vijayvergiya was present for inaugurating the programme in the evening apart from other dignitaries. The entertainment programme had two drama presentations on the theme of AIDS/HIV awareness. Highlight of the programme was a drama on the daily life of a truck driver that was presented by few of the 30 truck drivers trained in information, education and communication (IEC) skills for 45 days by the NGO. In fact, not just dramas, every presentation was laden with the awareness theme albeit in a subtle way to drill the message.
The winners of quiz were immediately handed over sponsored gifts. Many commercial stalls, including on items as varied as condoms and lubricants for truck engines, but necessarily useful for truckers, were put up at the entrance of the venue. Before the entertainment programme, a health camp and games sessions were also held in the area earlier in the day, he informed.
Nearly 300 persons benefited at the health camp wherein they were treated for eye and ENT problems apart from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and were also given free medicines.