“We will be having a rally that starts from our office at Tadiwala road on World Aids Day on December 1. Our campaign is to talk about AIDS, give out vital information on how one must take precautions to keep the virus at bay,” says Feltner. The group will be distributing condoms at the rally and also talk to people on the dangers unprotected sex.
The activities for the World Aids Day campaign have already kick-started at Disha NGO from November 22 with a henna competition. “There is a series of competitions lined up till December 7. We do not believe that one day is enough to spread awareness about HIV/ AIDS, we must take more efforts. The competitions are a sure-shot way of getting the attention of the public. When they participate in a program or a competition, they relate to it more personally. We want to create such an impact on the lives of the public that they protect themselves and also harbour compassion towards those affected by the same,” says Avinash Chakranarayan, team leader at Disha.
There is a lecture on AIDS awareness that varies from fifteen minutes to half and hour before every competition and all the competitions are themed on the subject of AIDS. While Wake Up Pune turns to music to bring about a difference, Disha turns to rangolis. A rangoli campaign on the theme of AIDS will demonstrate on the roads of the city where volunteers will be making colourful rangolis.
The NGO Samvad, that offers helpline services to AIDS survivors as well as the public at large who are curious about the condition and need information on it, will be starting their all-night shifts on the occasion of World Aids Day. “We have installed an IVR system that records the number of the caller whose call goes on waiting while the lines are busy. We make sure that our volunteers call them back at a convenient time specified by the caller,” says Ramchandra Waghmare, promotions manager at Samvad.