Gearing up AIDS awareness
Indian industries have begun to step up AIDS-awareness measures for their estimated 60 million strong workforce. A study by the Punjab, Haryana and Delhi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) reveals that only 1 person in 100 among industrial workers are aware of AIDS. Worse, many north Indian workers even refuse to talk about their sexual behaviour, says B Sarkar, a PHDCCI expert who supervised the studies.
Industrial houses have come forward with innovative ideas like free distribution of condoms, street plays and dance dramas, and counselling, to tackle the AIDS menace. Jamshedpur-based Tata Steel has come out with a peer group education programme involving the mother-in-law, who "commands respect in a traditional Indian family, so her involvement increases the efficacy of the programme," says S K Dey, director, family planning. Ballarpur Industries Ltd, Johnson & Johnson, the Mafatlal and Shriram groups, government-owned ordinance factories and the Transport Corporation of India, Secundarabad, have also formulated AIDS-awareness and -prevention programmes.