Sunday, June 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Youngsters most vulnerable to AIDS: UN expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
“Youngsters are the most vulnerable group which are falling prey to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and our aim is to create awareness among them about the deadly stalker and help them make the right decisions,” said Dr Erma W. Manoncourt, Deputy Director (Programmes), UNICEF.

She was in the city to participate in inter-industries symposium on “HIV /AIDS and drugs-free work place: a key to women health and social equity.” In an interview with Ludhiana Tribune, she spelled out the challenges and the need for all out efforts to tackle AIDS besides the role of UN agencies in this field.

Elaborating on the role of the agency, she said although they were facilitators between the NGOs and the government yet UNICEF funds research and specific programmes pursued by various agencies. UNICEF funds were small in comparison to huge government funding but they were always willing to chip in with new ideas and on how to handle campaigns in view of their experience in various countries across the world.

“We are concerned that an increasing number of youngsters are falling victim to the deadly disease and there are examples where a large percentage of the youngsters, especially in developing countries, are HIV positive. This is a cause of great concern to not only to any country but our global society as a whole,” she added.

She said the agency was of the view that more and more NGOs and community support groups should come forward and do something for educating the people about the epidemic. We work with the respective state AIDS control societies but we have observed that until the community does not to rise to the occasion as a whole, nothing worthwhile can be achieved.

The Deputy Director commented that campaigns to create awareness in Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been a great success since the people have woken up to the bitter reality that something had to be done to tackle the menace from within. That is the type of groundswell needed to overcome or at least stem the tide of AIDS, she emphasised.

Communities have to realise that shrugging off the stigma alone does not help. We have to treat the infected person with compassion. He needs the support of the family and society. A good beginning has been made here since industrial workers, mostly migrants — were a high risk group and more organisations and the entrepreneurs themselves should come forward to support such ventures whole heartedly since it makes economic sense to have a healthy work force, she pointed out.



Symposium on HIV/AIDS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
One per cent of the Indian adult population is estimated to be infected with HIV and AIDS. Drug addiction and migration are two crucial social issues challenging the health of the industrial workers, women’s health and social equity. As many as 95 percent of the HIV/AIDS and drug addiction cases are reportedly among the most economically productive age group between 15 - 49 years.

These were some of the findings discussed by participants at the inter industries symposium on HIV/Aids and drug free workplace: a key to women’s health and social equity” organised at the Small Industries Centre here today. Mr Ramesh Chander Dogra, Minister for Health and Family Planning, was the chief guest. Other participants included Mr Rajan Kashyap, Principal Secretary, Health, Mr T. R. Sarangal, Director, Industries, and Ms Erma W. Manoncourt, Deputy Director, UNICEF. The function was held under the aegis of the Ludhiana Citizens Health Council, UNAIDS, UNICEF, RESEARCH, ILO and PATH (India).

The participats were unanimous that due to rapid industrialisation, the population of industrial workers living without their families is one the rise. This segment is most vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS. One among four AIDS affected victims are women which is an indicator of the magnitude of the problem.

Several sample surveys of antenatal mothers indicated a four per cent infection rate. Much needs to be done to sensitise our industrial workers about the menace. With a large number of infected workers and hundreds of new victims added each year in Punjab, the state will lose a large number of industrial workers in the reproductive and productive age group. These issues and challenges are adversely effecting the health of women workers and social equity.

Industrial workers have poor health in general and a great risk for HIV/AIDS. They have very poor knowledge about their sexual health, ill-effects of alcohol and drugs on their health.

The speakers appealed that industrial establishments should felicitate and popularise safe sexual behavioral practices among their staff and ensure a drug free environment at the work place.

Due to illiteracy, workers are frequently exploited and discriminated. Hence, they hide their status vis- a-vis HIV/AIDs. Counselling and drug abuse awareness through appropriate health promotion, advocacy and training is essential for them. Oral cancer, T.B. and chest diseases are rampant among this group. These issues are further aggregated as they are shrouded in secrecy and taboos.

Various health workers emphasised that these issues not only have a profound impact on workers and their families, but also enterprises and the national economy. Therefore there was great need to guide employers, employees and help concerned government and non government agencies towards the most economically sustainable ways to respond to HIV/AIDS and drug addiction at their work place.

The businessmen should help develop behavioral changes by one to one basis interaction on HIV/AIDs, drug addiction through peer groups or though those who have close affinity. To popularise various sexual health promotional and de-addiction measures, including counselling, to prevent HIV/AIDS , STD, Oral cancer, T.B., through worker to worker and worker to community approach was also suggested. 



Easy win for KVM team
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 15
Kundan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School scored an easy win by 45 runs over the LDCA XI (B) in the sixth Chaman Lal Malhotra Cricket Cup Tournament, being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association at the Arya College for Boys ground, here today.

The LDCA XI won the toss and asked the KVM team to bat first. They scored 145 at the loss of nine wickets, thanks to Bharat Malhotra’s innings of 57 runs and some useful batting by Karan Kalia and Arvind who contributed 14 and 15 (n. o), respectively.

Defending a modest total of 145 runs, KVM bowlers did a comendable job by restricting their opponents to a total of 100 runs in 23 overs. Bharat Malhotra, Shivam and Ankit captured two wickets each.

Brief scores: Kundan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School — 145 for 9 in 25 overs (Karan Kalia 14, Bharat Malhotra 57, Arvind 15 (n. o), Savneet 2 for 17, Sahil 2 for 14 and Sham Sharma 3 for 18 )

LDCA XI (B) — 100 all out in 23 overs (Sarang Vaid 33, Gagandeep Dhand 19, Bharat Malhotra 2 for 18, Shivam 2 for 16 and Ankkit 2 for 15)

Night cricket: The third edition of the Night Cricket Tournament, organised by the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Sports Board Youth Wing, Ludhiana, will be held here at the Daresi ground from June 19 to 22.

According to a press note issued by the wing president, Mr Sunny Khosla here today, 16 teams would fight it out for the ‘Ambedkar Cup’ during this four-day meet. Tennis balls will be used in this tournament. The winners would get a cash prize of Rs 7,100 and a trophy, while the losing finalists would receive a prize of Rs 3,100 and a runner-up trophy, the note said.


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