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The residents of Dharamshala today observed the World Aids Day with campaign event to talk aids and create awareness about the deadly disease.

The CTA’s Health Department, Regional Tibetan Women’s Association, Delek Hospital, Dharamshala Rotary club, Kunphen, local NGO LHA Charitable Trust have jointly organized the event. A gathering was held at the main square of McLeod Ganj town to observe the day.

Dawa Phunkey, MP and Administrator of Delek Hospital, speaking on the significance of commemorating the particular day told Phayul, “The disease knows no boundary or ethnic divides, India the second largest populated country in the world where the bulk of Tibetan exile community is assimilated has seen the disease spread in the community. Hence it is of utmost importance that awareness activities and public sensitization should be undertaken to tackle the deadly disease.”

“The social and cultural stigma attached to the disease in the Tibetan community has decreased comparatively yet the apprehension and dread associated with the ailment continues to pull people away from embracing it as a reality which is in fact happening everywhere in the world,” he added.

The governmental and the NGO’s carried out various awareness activities such as skit performance, walk-around, distribution of condoms, leaflets giving out information, free haircut for the day and other activities.

LHA Charitable Trust, a local NGO, organized a free blood test at Delek Hospital. The organization’s Director Ngawang Rabgay said, “LHA’s association to Aids awareness programs is not new yet it is practical to remind and make people aware people of this disease which if neglected can grow into an epidemic. According to exile government records, the Tibetan community has seen close to 160 Tibetans infected with the virus and death toll approximately 60 people. So it is very much a legitimate concern in the community.”

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