April 7, 2010
School of Engineering, Amritapuri
The Red Ribbon Express halted at the Karunagapally station recently. On this last stop in the state of Kerala, it was greeted in overwhelming numbers by representatives from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
“With over 13,000 visitors, Karunagapally topped the list of stations in Kerala,” informed Mr. Sethu, faculty in Amrita’s MSW program. “We estimate that 750-800 Amrita students from different departments visited the exhibition over the two days.”
The Red Ribbon Express was flagged off over a year ago. It intended to traverse over 27,000 kms, conducting an HIV/AIDS awareness drive, and halting at nearly 50,000 villages. The ten-compartment train carried an extensive exhibition on HIV/AIDS related issues.
Amrita honored this joint initiative of the National AIDS Control Organization, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, by hosting a Health Pavilion of its own at the Karunagapally Railway Station when the train arrived there.
The Amrita Departments of Social Work, Swastha Vritha (School of Ayurveda) and Community Medicine (School of Medicine) were joined by Amrita Kripasagaram, Pain & Palliative Centre, Nedumangad, at the Health Pavilion.
At the Health Pavilion, were several exhibits on HIV/AIDS. The students of the School of Ayurveda also conducted a free blood pressure checkup camp at the Pavilion. In addition, drinking water was distributed to all visitors to the exhibition, bringing relief when the mercury peaked in the 40′s.
“Amrita’s participation was acknowledged and well appreciated by the officials,” stated Mr. Sethu. “The district-level officials of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Kerala including the District Medical Officer (DMO), stated that they shall visit our campus to directly convey their words of appreciation for our efforts.”
Earlier, a Curtain Raiser was organized on the central lawns of the institution building in Amritapuri. The District Medical Officer (DMO), Kollam, the District Project Manager, National Rural Health Mission, Kollam and representatives from Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS), Thiruvananthapuram attended.
“The program helped prove Amrita’s commitment to social causes,” underlined Mr. Sethu. “It helped underscore our commitment to the Red Ribbon Express Program.”