WORLD AIDS AWARENESS DAY: Hills show way on AIDS message


Worls Aids Day Awareness Campaign in Darjeeling (Darpan) - its the children and future generation yet to come that need to take most care against this dreaded disease spread ?!!

WORLD AIDS AWARENESS DAY: Hills show way on AIDS message – while the disease makes its way up from the plains ?!!



Nurses take part in a rally on AIDS in Kalimpong on Wednesday. (Chinlop Fudong Lepcha) - exposed to the hazards of AIDS on a daily basis and watching its destructive power ?!!



Kalimpong, Dec. 1: Rallies, skit, blood donation camps and various other programmes were today organised in different parts of Kalimpong subdivision which joined the rest of the country in observing World AIDS Day.

A rally was taken out through the heart of town in the morning to spread AIDS awareness. Schoolchildren, members of NGOs and government officials took part in the procession organised jointly by the Kalimpong Subdivisional Hospital and Disha, an NGO.

Students carried placards bearing slogans on this year’s World AIDS Day theme, “universal access and human rights”. Some of them read: “No refusal to HIV victims”, “AIDS ko upchar chainasurakshit basnohos (There is no cure for AIDS, remain safe),” and “education is the only prevention”. “We gave the students the theme; which is universal access and human rights and they coined the slogans,” said Suva Ratna Pradhan, the subdivisional medical officer of health and superintendent of the subdivisional hospital here.

The medical officer said after the launch of the integrated counselling and testing centre (ICTC) at the subdivisional hospital in November 2008, 81 people had tested HIV positive.

“I do not have the break-up to give the number of people diagnosed with HIV positive in the first year. But 39 HIV positive cases have been recorded at the ICTC from November 2009 till date. Of them, 24 are men, 13 women and two children. After the ICTC was set up, 12 persons have died of AIDS in the subdivision,” said Pradhan.

The subdivisional hospital also has a Link Anti-Retroviral Treatment Centre, where 35 HIV positive patients are registered. “Of the 35 patients, 15 are being treated at the Link ART Centre, while the rest have been admitted to different hospitals in north Bengal,” said Pradhan.

Apart from the ICTC and Link ART Centre, Pradhan said, the hospital also runs an STD clinic and conducts the revived national tuberculosis programme.

“HIV positive patients are prone to TB. The HIV-TB co-ordination record is very good in the hospital. This means early detection of TB and quicker treatment, which consequently leads to reduction in mortality rate,” said the medical officer.

As part of the World AIDS Day, a skit with a message on AIDS awareness was enacted in front of the subdivisional hospital by a troupe. Later, the hospital and an NGO, Kalyan, organised a blood donation camp at Dungra Busty, 2km from here.

Border crossed for a cause – Rallies, skits, blood camps in Kalimpong – concern for all goes beyond all borders ?!!


One Act Play on World Aids Day in Kalimpong (Chinlop Fudong Lepcha) - infotainment at its magical best ?!!



Panitanki (Indo-Nepal Border), Dec. 1:Around 200 people from India, mainly transport workers, crossed the border today to spread AIDS awareness in a Nepal town.

They went to the neighbouring country in a procession to mark the World AIDS Day. The rally was organised jointly by the Hind Mazdoor Sabha of Nepal and the Nepal Transport Workers’ Union, affiliated to the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

“HIV positive people count mainly among drivers and migrant construction workers. Even our neighbouring country is facing a similar problem. To spread awareness of the disease, the two trade unions, along with local organisations, are taking out the cross-border rally. It will be the first such initiative in the border area,” said Samir Roy, the national secretary of the Hind Mazdoor Sabha.


AIDS awareness street programs in Kalimpong (Darpan) - making the person on the street aware from Kalimpong to Kakarbhitta on the social stigma naturally attached to this dreaded disease for the welfare of all ?!!

The rally with a message “act aware” started from Panitanki, 45km from Siliguri, and crossed the Mechi Bridge to reach Kakarvitta in Nepal, covering a distance of 1km.


A street corner meeting was held at Kakarvitta and leaflets with information on AIDS were distributed among the people.

A drop-in centre to counsel AIDS patients was also opened at Panitanki today.


Abattoir spoils villagers’ life – Bengal the great polluter, no pollution control nor need for such unless it affects the pseudo colonialist politician’s own personal house ?!!


Stray Dogs rummage near abattoir waste heaps (Abirban Choudhury) - Bengal least concerned about the health and safety of the people, a stinking legacy they will have to live with forever ?!!



Alipurduar, Dec. 1: An abattoir that supplies meat to the South Khayerbari animal rescue centre is posing hygienic problems to more than 2,000 people in a Falakata village.

The villagers said they had to light incense sticks at homes as horrid smell emanated from the abattoir, which they alleged had been functioning illegally. Besides, meat residues are scattered across the village by stray dogs.

Mamtazuddin Mia had opened the abattoir at Pashchim Salkumarhat four years ago to provide 100kg beef a day to feed nine tigers and 20 leopards at the rescue centre, 42km from here. The slaughterhouse is adjacent to his house along the road.

‘We have to cover our nose with a towel when we pass by the abattoir. As the residues of meat are not disposed off properly, dogs pick them up and strew them across the village. Sometimes, we may be taking food on the veranda of our house when dogs suddenly appear with meat in their mouths. We become annoyed and stop eating. We light incense sticks in our houses to escape the stench,” said a villager.

Today, the people of Pashchim Salkumarhat, 46km from here, submitted a memorandum to the block development officer of Falakata, seeking action against the abattoir owner.

“The slaughter house is functioning illegally. This man (Mia) has neither an NOC from the pollution control board nor a licence. We are unable to stay in our own houses because of foul smell from the abattoir throughout the day. We do not want to harm the meat shop owner. At the same time, we cannot ignore the problems we face.

If the BDO doesn’t take any action, an epidemic will strike our village anytime,” said Balai Bhowmik, a villager.


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