Sonia Gandhi flags off 'Red Ribbon Express'

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New Delhi, Dec 1: Congress president Sonia Gandhi today flagged off specially-designed seven-coach 'Red Ribbon Express' that will traverse across the country spreading AIDS prevention messages. Flagging off the train on World AIDS Day, the UPA Chairperson said the campaign was a battle for those afflicted by AIDS and ''it can and must be won''.

This project will help bring to the mainstream the fight against the disease, she added.

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''AIDS is a major public health concern. No single thing has had such an impact in the world. Men and women in the prime of their youth have been lost to this disease,'' Ms Gandhi said.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, who was also present on the occasion, announced that his ministry will also run another train for the same purpose.

The train will raise awareness about HIV, promote safe behavioural practices and fighting the stigma and discrimination attached to the blood-borne disease.

During its year-long journey, the train will cover over 27,000 km covering 180 stations holding programmes and activities in over 50,000 villages.

Two exhibition buses and cycle caravans will also be travelling with the train and they will cover the peripheries of the districts reaching out to millions of people.


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