New Delhi, Jan 12 (IBNS) The closing function of Red Ribbon Express (RRE) - III was held at Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi on Saturday.
Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare S. Gandhiselvan and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal were Guests of Honour.
Addressing the closing function, Azad said Red Ribbon Express - III was flagged off on January 12, 2012, the National Youth Day.
The focus of RRE - III was on youth as the future of India belongs to them. Accordingly special efforts were made for mobilizing adolescents and youth during the exhibition.
Communication material was more interactive and youth friendly with provision of relevant services. In its year-long journey, the RRE - III covered 162 railway stations in 23 states. Over 1.14 crore people have been reached with messages on HIV/AIDS and other health issues as a part of this mass mobilization.
Azad said many welfare schemes have been launched by the Government of India for the benefit of the people. Janani-Shishu Suraksha Karyakram is one such programme which has been started to guarantee free healthcare to all the pregnant mothers and sick neonates.
"But due to lack of awareness, this scheme has not reached the pregnant mothers," he said.
He felt that some innovative ways are to be found out to spread the message on these welfare schemes across the country.
He expressed his view that the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the Ministry of Railways can join hands together in this noble cause.
"Together we can spread the message to the people," said Azad.
Addressing the function, Bansal said RRE - III has succeeded in meeting the objectives of the campaign.
He hoped that next phase RRE would be soon launched. He assured support of the Indian Railways in the noble endeavour.
He also announced that railways coaches would be painted with messages which are informative and educative for the benefit of the general public in the days to come.
Gandhiselvan also addressed the function.
It may be mentioned that the first Red Ribbon Express was flagged off by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on December 1, 2007 for disseminating messages on HIV & AIDS.
The train traversed over 27,000 km covering 180 stations across 22 states till December 1, 2008.
The second RRE train was again flagged off by Gandhi on December 1, 2009 for disseminating messages on HIV & AIDS, H1N1 and general health issues.
The train traversed over 27,000 km covering 152 stations in 22 states.
The Red Ribbon Express is one of the global best practices, innovative and effective in reaching out to a large segment of population with awareness messages on HIV/AIDS and related services.
It is the world's largest mass mobilization campaign on HIV/AIDS.
It is a special exhibition train which travels across the country disseminating the messages on HIV/AIDS and general health in rural and remote areas of the country.
Along with the train, special outreach programmes are organized in the villages through IEC exhibition vans and folk troupes.