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Five Year AIDS Awareness Campaign To be Launched By The Government

‘YUVA’ is Youth Unite for Victory against AIDS, a five-year government action plan to create awareness among 450 million youth and adolescents in the country about AIDS//.

There is a sense of urgency in implementing the action plan by the ministry of youth affairs; with India topping the chart of number of HIV infected people. S Y Quraishi, the youth affairs secretary told the press that AIDS could particularly be a youth problem. So he explained that the focus of the programme is to create awareness that prevention is the key to tackle the situation. The large-scale campaign is to involve 21.4 million youth volunteers from five youth and adolescent organisation namely National Service Scheme, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Bharat Scouts and Guides, NCC and Youth Red cross.

Stating that young Panchayat leaders, youth hostels and volunteers of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development will also be included in the nationwide campaign, Quraishi also added that the joint action plan would be an effort to bring young people under one umbrella called 'India Youth Network'.

It was explained that under the proposed plan, the youth volunteers would be taking a pledge on a seven-point programme. The programme will create awareness about HIV/AIDS, child marriage, and gender equality focussing on dowry and sex determination tests and empowerment for livelihood. It was announced that the government would spend around Rs 422.35 crore on the five year campaign of which youth affairs ministry will put up Rs 277.5 crore while the UNDP will also contribute Rs 30 crore. A separate adolescent and HIV/AIDS division will be established in the ministry along with an adolescent, gender and HIV/AIDS division at RGNIYD at the cost of Rs 15 crore is also being established to help in coordination of the campaign efforts.

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