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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

India's first condom bar in Chandigarh

Jaideep Sarin, IANS  Chandigarh, May 01, 2007
First Published: 10:42 IST(1/5/2007) | Last Updated: 13:17 IST(1/5/2007)

Interiors decorated with real condoms, beer mugs in the condom shape, staff dresses with condom prints... a bar cum discotheque that opens in Chandigarh on Wednesday will be like none other in India.

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Billed as the country's first "condom bar", it aims to make people, especially youngsters, aware of AIDS and the need for safe sex.

And that is not all. The bar will make available free condoms as well as priced ones available to clients. It will even give condoms in lieu of loose change.

That this new idea is being implemented by a semi-government organisation - Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corp (CITCO) - makes it even more unique.

"Condoms should be seen as friends and people should get over with inhibitions regarding it. We at CITCO wanted to fulfil our social commitment and this bar has been initiated in this context," Jasbir Singh Bir, the enthusiastic CITCO managing director, told the agency.

CITCO was approached by some NGOs working for HIV and AIDS and that's how the idea to have a condom bar came up.

"We want to target youngsters looking at the ground realities of today's social needs. The entire enterprise will be run on a no-profit basis," Bir added.

College student Shaurya Mehta said: "This should be an interesting idea if it works. But many people will have to get over with the hesitation of walking into a condom bar to make it a success."

True to its word, CITCO has kept prices at the lowest possible - for instance, a vegetarian thali will cost just Rs. 45.

For a basic cover charge, entry will be allowed to the bar cum disc and the cost of the food and drinks will be deducted from that.

Giving a professional touch to the new disc will be DJ Sandy from Delhi's Vasant Vihar area  frequented by youth.

CITCO also plans to hold a beauty and fashion contest for people suffering from HIV to give them a feeling that they are very much part of society.

The condom bar cum disc is located at the sprawling Kalagram complex  Chandigarh's equivalent of Delhi Haat  on the Chandigarh-Panchkula highway.

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