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Kannada cassettes, CDs on HIV/AIDS released

By Our Special Correspondent

GULBARGA, MARCH 18. M.S. Srikar, chief executive officer of Gulbarga Zilla Panchayat, on Friday made a fervent plea for a combined effort to create awareness among the people about HIV/AIDS.

Presiding over the function to mark the release of the cassette and compact disc (CD) about HIV/AIDS in the song form brought out by the Karnataka partners of the Chennai-based HEKS, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mr. Srikar said that there was a need for joint effort to contain the spread of the disease.

The organisation has been working for the empowerment and development of women and Dalits, and land issues of the landless in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka for the past five decades.

He agreed with Joseph, representing the Andhra Pradesh partners of HEKS, that HIV/AIDS should not be dealt with as a health problem, but treated as a social problem. He said it was difficult to change the mindset of the people about the disease. The media and the NGOs have to play an important role to bring about this change.

Mr. Srikar cited the success of the Pulse Polio Programme and said this was mainly due to the success achieved in creating awareness.

A similar campaign on a larger scale was required for HIV/AIDS. He lauded the initiative taken by the organisation in bringing out the cassettes and CDs on the disease in Kannada for the first time in north Karnataka.

The India convener of HEKS, G.C. Siluvai, who formally released the cassette and CD and handed over the first copy to Mr. Srikar, said that the disease was spreading fast and steps have to be taken to contain the spread, as it may affect the socio-economic status of the country.

The District Health and Family Welfare Officer, Panduranga T. Pujari, stressed the importance of cooperation of the NGOs and people in the initiatives taken by the Government to check the spread of the disease.

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