Thousands throng Red Ribbon Express in Berhampur

Berhampur: Over 28,500 people, mostly women, have visited Red Ribbon Express (RRE) exhibition train, now stationed at Berhampur railway station in Ganjam district to create awareness on HIV/AIDS.

"We have made arrangements for people from villages, mostly youth and women, to visit the train during its stay at Berhampur," said Ganjam district collector Krishan Kumar.

Four vehicles are visiting different villages with anti-AIDS message and to request the people to visit the train, which arrived here yesterday for a three-day halt.

The train undertaking an anti-AIDS campaign had also visited Berhampur in 2008 and 2009. The district was awarded by the Central government on the December 1, 2010 on AIDS Day, for best management of the exhibition train, as around 38,000 people had visited at that time, sources said.

"We expect around 60,000 people to visit the train this time," the collector said.

The administration has opened some exhibition stalls on promotion of condom use, test of tuberculosis and staging of different folk dances outside the railway station on AIDS awareness campaign during the period.

Visit of the RRE to Berhampur is significant as Ganjam has the highest number of HIV positive persons, around 38 per cent of the state`s population. As many as 9723 persons from the district have been tested HIV positive in the last 12 years up to May.