Port Blair, Dec. 1: On 1st December 2023 (Friday) the Andaman & Nicobar AIDS Control Society (ANACS) organized rally for the Students of Schools and College for the observance of World AIDS Day 2023. More than 600 students from schools and colleges participated in the rally carrying banners and placards.

Dr. Anil Agarwal, Secretary (Lab. & Emp./Par. Aff./OL)/, Sp. Secy. (Perl.)/ MD (NHM & NAM), A&N Administration was the Chief Guest and flagged off the rally of school and college students.

Dr.  Suja Antony DHS-Cum Vice Chairperson, ANACS, A&N Administration and Shri Naresh Chander lal, Padma Shree Awardee graced the occasion as Guest of Honour.

Dr. Pragya Sharma, Director ANIIMS also graced the occasion to encourage the students participating in the rally.

Chief Guest Dr. Anil Agarwal in his address said that the focus should be more on prevention. In early days the awareness programs were for the adults and college students, but now it is being done in schools also. There are certain high risk groups that are more prone to this infection and they must be made aware about this virus. We all know that once infected the person will remain HIV positive throughout his life as there is no complete treatment available, but there are medicines, with which the HIV positive can live a long and healthy life.

Shri Naresh Chander lal said that we all need to join hands like a family in the fight against this virus and encouraged the students for their active participation.

Earlier, Dr. Subrata Saha welcomed the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour. The program was conducted under his guidance and leadership.

The rally was flagged off by Dr. Anil Agarwal. The rally started from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Stadium to Clock Tower, Model School, Bengali club, Co-operative Bank, Gandhi Statue, Aberdeen Bazaar, Clock Tower and conclude in front of the National Memorial (Cellular Jail) at Veer Savarkar Park.

The rally concluded at Veer Savarkar Park where the students were given information on HIV and AIDS through drama performed by students of Andaman Law College.

This year’s theme to observe World AIDS Day 2023 is “Let Communities Lead”.  Organisations of communities living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV are the frontline of progress in the HIV response. The world can end AIDS, with communities leading the way.

Many more activities and programs are being conducted to observe this day. Quiz competition in schools, Marathon, drama and reels competition in colleges, speech competition and rangoli competition for rural areas. Flash mob will be conducted in the evening hours in front of Cellular Jail, near Fag point, Aberdeen bus stand and in the premises of cinema hall Anand Paradise. Many more rallies and programs are conducted through the Integrated Counselling and testing centres in different islands.