State ropes in Sachin for Aids drive

State ropes in Sachin for Aids drive

Ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar will be the ambassador for the awareness campaign planned by the State government for children living with HIV/Aids.

A survey shows that 1.6 lakh people are living with HIV/Aids in the State. Of these, 8,000 are children in the 0-14 age group. The Medical Education Department has decided to open a rehabilitation centre for children affected by the deadly virus in Belgaum. The focus at the rehabilitation centre will be yoga therapy.  Most of the affected children are from the North Karnataka districts of Belgaum, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Raichur and Koppal. Therefore, the rehab centre would come up in Belgaum, Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas told Deccan Herald. The centre is coming up on 200 acres of government land. Also, a separate 20-bed ward would be set up for the HIV-infected children in each of the government hospitals in the State, he said.

“We have written to Sachin Tendulkar, asking him to be the ambassador for the campaign.

He has responded positively. The chief minister has been requested to release Rs two crore for undertaking the drive. The remaining amount required for the project will be sourced from voluntary organisations,” the minister said.

Ramdas said they would meet him in the first week of August to work out the modalities of the campaign. More than 100 volunteers were already involved in creating awareness among the people in the five North Karnataka districts.

He said talks had been held in this regard with Union Minister for Health Ghulam Nabi Azad. The minister had agreed to provide five ‘Red Ribbon Express’ buses to be used in the awareness campaign in the State, Ramdas added.

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