Several organizations, institutions and corporate houses held events to mark the World AIDS Day here on Tuesday. OTV, a local Odia channel, organized its annual mini-marathon while elsewhere in the city educational institutions launched awareness rallies. 

At the Red Cross Bhavan here a state level function was held with legislators underlining the importance of awareness amongst people and care towards those inflicted by HIV. Amar Prasad Satpathy, MLA, appreciated the humanitarian initiatives taken by Indian Red Cross Society, Odisha State Branch (IRCS-OSB) and urged the volunteers to take up initiatives to motivate the people to increase awareness, improve education about HIV/AIDS, and set aside and combat prejudices that come with the diseases. 

Priyadarshi Mishra, MLA, Bhubaneswar North joined as Guest of honour. He cherished the activities of Volunteers and said If you understand how HIV is transmitted, you can prevent it. 

Dr Chakradhar Panda, Honorary Secretary, IRCSOSB welcome the Guests and expressed the volunteers to unite the people of the society in the fight against HIV. Support people living with HIV, he said. A Human Chain and Candle procession was held in front of Red Cross Bhavan, Bhubaneswar. 

More than 200 Youth Red Cross Volunteershave participated in the said programme. 

A report from Jharsuguda said Vedanta Limited, observed World AIDS Day 2015 in its plant premises around the theme of the year ‘Getting to Zero’ supported by OSACS and District Health department. 

An awareness session was conducted to sensitize people across all sections working inside the plant including labour force and truck drivers on prevention of HIV/ AIDs. The day was observed with distribution of red ribbon, leaflet and poster, hoarding for wide sensitization. 

More than 500 people participated in the sensitization drive. A street play on the theme was also organised for the audience to sensitize them on the issue. 

Vedanta has launched “Project Jagriti” for preventionof HIV/AIDS among formal and informal workforce under the Employer Led Model (ELM) in association with the Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS), the nodal agency under the state government. 

While the administration at Bolangir conducted workshops and awareness rallies etc quiet a few were shockingly unaware of what all this is about said a report from the district. 

Sagar a resident of Malamanda village works as labor at the railway yard pleaded his ignorance when he was questioned about what he knows about today’s rally or importance of this day.

“I have seen some people moving in street holding placard but couldn’t understand what for they were doing it today probably they want to draw our attention to take care of our children” he said.

When he was asked again does he have any inkling about what AIDS is his response was negative.

“I am hearing this from you."

Suru Babu living right behind the Bolangir district headquarter hospital and a daily wager was equally ignorant. 

Official figures in Bolangir district reveal that over the last decade 160people have died of AIDS. There are 974 HIV patients in the district and most of them are daily wage earners, drivers and migrant labor.